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09 January 2015 09:14
Babies who rapidly gain weight during the first three months of their life are more vulnerable to asthma later in childhood, according to a study
Babies who gain weight in the first three months of their life could have a greater chance of suffering asthma later in childhood.
The condition is more likely to develop in people aged eight to 17 if they put on a lot of weight between birth and three months old, according to a University of Bristol study.
These babies are also shown to be more likely to develop lower lung function and increased responsiveness of the airways, both of which have been linked to the condition.
More than a million children are affected by asthma in the UK. Comprehensive asthma travel insurance is available for those with the condition who are planning a holiday.
What the researchers say
The study's lead researcher, Dr Agnes Sonnenschein-van der Voort, says the evidence suggests the risk of developing asthma in later childhood and as a teenager is greater among those who rapidly gain weight during their first three months.
A total of 9,723 children were analysed by researchers, who looked at their weight and height from the day they were born to when they turned 17. Asthma symptoms were also monitored during this period.
The researchers found 13.9% of the eight-year-olds were affected by asthma and 15.3% at the age of 17.
What Asthma UK says
Asthma UK's director of research and policy, Dr Samantha Walker, welcomes the study into birth weight and the development of asthma but says more research is required into the relationship before any solid conclusions can be made.
She gives the example of previous studies that have shown babies born with a low birth weight are also more likely to develop asthma in later childhood.
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