11-Mar-15 3:00 PM  CST

Children With Lung Problems Before the Age of Three at Higher Risk for Asthma

A new study shows that children who have been diagnosed with pneumonia prior to the age of 3 may be at a higher risk for being diagnosed with asthma. Children that have been diagnosed with respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, have an increased risk for being diagnosed with asthma due to the long term and negative affects the disease states can have on the development of the lungs.

Dr. Fernando Martinez, a professor at the University of Arizona’s, Arizona Respiratory Center in Tucson believes these latest finds are proof positive that illness that occur early in our lives may be responsible for the chronic disease states we are diagnosed with in adulthood. Dr. Martinez warns that the study does not undeniably prove that contracting pneumonia very early in life will always lead to a diagnosis of a asthma later in life. According to the National Lung Association 25 million people in the United States have asthma and approximately 7 million of those are children.

The study, which followed 1250 men and women born between the years 1980 -1984 from birth, had also been diagnosed with lower respiratory illnesses prior to the age of three. After the age of three the children where placed into three different groups, those who had been diagnosed with pneumonia, those had another type of respiratory illness and those who had neither.

Children who had pneumonia early in life had almost twice as much risk for developing asthma or wheezing later in life. Children who had pneumonia or lower respiratory illness early in life had a higher risk of lung impairment as early as their teens and into young adulthood. The researchers took into consideration family history as well as exposure to smoke, and other environmental and genetic factors.





WebMD, (2015), “Early Childhood Pneumonia Tied to Higher Asthma Odds” , http://www.webmd.com/children/news/20150306/pneumonia-in-early-childhood-tied-to-higher-odds-of-asthma?page=2, retrieved, 6. March, 2015

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Kelley Simmons
Source: Sandy Andrews, CPhT, BLS  

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