Pregnancy Cold Responsible for Child Asthma


New studies reveal that a common cold during pregnancy cold be responsible for child asthma. The reason why some children have breathing difficulties even after the cold has passed lies in genes and Hans Bisgaard, head of the Danish Pediatric Asthma Centre at Copenhagen University Hospital in Gentofte, found out exactly what triggers this chronic inflammatory disease of the airways.

According to Bisgaard, the asthmatic effect of the gene ORMDL3 is activated only when the infant is hit by the common cold’s virus  named rhinovirus, but the sensitivity could appear during the mother’s pregnancy. This new discovery made by Bisgaard, his colleagues and a team of American researchers emphasizes the fact that asthma thrives when environmental factors interact with genetics. The study can be found in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Deborah Gentile, Associate Professor of Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, supports the fact that a cold during pregnancy could be responsible for child asthma. In a video comment on MedPage Today, Gentile mentions that the risk of developing asthma is enhanced 26-fold when a child’s body contains a combination of rhinovirus and genetic variants in ORMDL3.

However, neither Bisgaard nor his team see this discovery as a new way of treating asthma, stating that this particular finding is incredibly exciting only for “nerds like us.”

Allergist Michael Foggs, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, admitted that “allergy and asthma can develop in the womb,” because both diseases are influenced by genetics, but the study which revealed that repeated common colds during pregnancy could cause the child to develop asthma by age five, offers new insight with regard to how the mother’s environment can affect the unborn.

After researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology studied 513 pregnant women in Germany and their 526 infants over a period of five years, they concluded that the allergens and bacteria mothers were exposed to during pregnancy changed the environment in the uterus and boosted the child’s chances of developing asthma and allergy in childhood.

Treating Asthma Symptoms

After studies surfaced the fact that a common cold during pregnancy could cause the child to develop asthma, parents are now searching for ways to prevent symptoms from evolving. However, despite the fact that a study which appears in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology performed on mice shows that ginger could diminish “inflammation and swelling in respiratory passages,” pregnant women are not advised to take ginger in any form.

Ginger is known as a popular remedy for an upset stomach, no matter if people use it as powder, pure root or in capsule form, but studies show that this rhizome should not be used by women while they are pregnant.

Doctors claim that asthma is the most common likely serious medical condition that can complicate pregnancy, but recent studies show that the other way around is also possible. A common cold during pregnancy could be responsible for the child’s asthma, but researchers are not trying to grasp if this discovery could “pave the way to new treatment and prevention” of this disease.

By Gabriela Motroc

Science Nordic 
International Business Times
Fox News

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