Asthma Risk Can Be Reduced by Exposure to Pet or Pest Allergens During Infancy


A new research supported by the National Institutes of Health reveals that those children who open to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have the low risk of asthma by the 7 years of age. All these latest findings published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology on 19th of September. These findings may give indications for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing.

The previous studies have recognized that decreasing allergen contact in the home helps control established asthma, the latest findings suggest that exposure to particular allergens during infancy before asthma develops, may have a defensive effect. All these observations come from the ongoing Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA—pronounced “Eureka”) study, and this is funded by NIS’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) through its Inner-City Asthma Consortium.

NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD. Said: “We are learning more and more about how the early life environment can influence the development of certain health conditions. If we can develop strategies to prevent asthma before it develops, we will help alleviate the burden this disease places on millions of people, as well as on their families and communities.”

More than 8 percent of the children in the United States have asthma according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This disease sporadically increases and contracts the airways. This is the disease which is the main reason of missed time from school and work and mostly because of this the emergency visit to the hospitals take place.

Children living in urban areas are more prone to asthma the URECA study finds out this fact. Urban area children have this severe disease more than rural areas children. In the year 2005, URECA has enrolled 560 newborns from Baltimore, Boston, New York City and St. Louis at high risk for emerging asthma because one of the parents has asthma or allergies. This study finds out that children having asthma since birth and the recent research report assesses the group through 7 years of age.

URECA said that home dust and bacteria is also the cause of developing asthma. The principal investigator of URECA and a professor at the University of Washington-Madison Mr. James E. Gern, M.D., said: “Our observations imply that exposure to a broad variety of indoor allergens, bacteria, and bacterial products early in life may reduce the risk of developing asthma. Additional research may help us identify specific targets for asthma prevention strategies.”