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Intervention Program Reduces Asthma in Children

(June 3, 2005 – An asthma intervention program applied during the first year of life significantly reduced the prevalence of asthma in high risk children at 7 years of age, according to a new study featured on the online version of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI). The JACI is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

Moira Chan-Yeung, MB, and colleagues from the Canadian Childhood Asthma Prevention Study, studied high risk infants with an immediate family history of asthma and allergies. The children were assigned to either a study or control group.

In the study group, intervention measures were introduced before birth and during the first year of life. These included avoidance of house dust mites, pets and secondhand smoke, encouragement of breast feeding, and delayed introduction of solid foods during the first 12 months of life.

At age seven, 469 children completed a questionnaire asking about respiratory symptoms, and the frequency, severity and medication for treatment of wheezing attacks in the last 12 months. Three hundred eighty of the children returned for further assessment by a pediatric allergist and underwent breathing tests to determine the degree of airway hyperresponsiveness, a typical feature of asthma.

The study found that the intervention measures significantly reduced the frequency of asthma by 56%. The prevalence of asthma was significantly lower in the intervention group than in the control group (14.9% vs. 23%).

Researchers hypothesized that an intervention during the first year of life has the potential for long-term medication of an infants risk for asthma development. They plan to assess the children at 11 to 12 years to determine whether the intervention program can be effective in decreasing the lifelong risk for asthma or if it has merely postponed the onset of the disease.

Source: AAAAI


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