Asthma Prevention -- Don't Let Newborns Grow Too Quickly: Study

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Babies who gain weight rapidly during the first three months of life are more likely to get asthma, researchers announced Friday.

Dutch researchers found an increase in shortness of breath, dry cough and persistent phlegm -- all symptoms of asthma -- in infants in the top third of weight gain in the first three months.

The researchers followed 5,125 children from fetus to 4 years old and published their results online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Our results suggest that the relationship between infant weight gain and asthma symptoms is not due to the accelerated growth of fetal growth-restricted infants only, Liesbeth Duijts, lead researcher, said in a journal news release. While the mechanisms underlying this relationship are unclear, accelerated weight growth in early life might adversely affect lung growth and might be associated with adverse changes in the immune system.

The researchers found that the weight of newborns did not correlate to the likelihood of asthma.

Researchers released a study Monday that showed asthma medication use in expecting mothers was not related to birth defects.

Worsening asthma is a risk to the mom and the fetus, Natalie Meirowitz, chief of the division of maternal fetal medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. told HealthDay. Hypoxia (a lack of oxygen) we know is a problem for a developing fetus. And, the potential risk they found here is very small. Even if it turns out to be a true increase, the risk is so small. This study raises more questions than it answers.

Asthma affects 4 percent to 12 percent of expecting mothers.

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