Children Develop Disease by Age 8
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9 February, 2010
Infections in womb linked to asthma
US researchers have linked mothers’ infection during pregnancy to asthma, the most common chronic disease among American children, in their offspring.
A 16–year study following nearly 400,000 births in California found that when mothers had an inflammation known as chorioamnionitis and if a baby was born pre–term, that child was more likely to develop asthma by age 8. Such inflammation of the placenta or amniotic fluid can result from a number of bacterial infections of the vagina, including E. coli and group B streptococci.
Chorioamnionitis complicates 8 percent of pregnancies. Dr Darios Getahun, lead author of the study, said doctors had assumed that being born pre–term was the reason children developed asthma later in life. The study showed chorioamnionitis is a factor in asthma independent of pre–term birth. Getahun said the findings point out the importance of prenatal care.