Autumn birth linked to increased asthma risk

November 24, 2008

The risk of childhood asthma may be greatest for those born in the fall, according to research published in the December 1 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The risk of childhood asthma may be greatest for those born in the fall, according to research published in the December 1 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

For their study, researchers analyzed birth and medical records of 95,310 children born between 1995 and 2000 and their mothers. Results showed that infant birth approximately four months before the cold and flu winter virus peak carried the highest risk of asthma. There was a 29% increase in the odds of developing asthma compared with birth 12 months before the virus peak. In addition, infant age at the winter cold and flu virus peak was comparable to, or greater than, other risk factors for asthma.

The investigators concluded that the delay of exposure or prevention of winter viral infection during early infancy could prevent asthma occurrence.