In a study of 24,690 British children, researchers found that exposure to antibiotics in the mother's womb was associated, in a dose-related manner, with an increased risk of asthma in the child. British investigators found that exposure to antibiotics and to infection in utero are potentially important risk factors in the development of allergic disease. They examined antibiotic use and the development of various infections in the mother during pregnancy. The problems included viral and bacterial infections such as those seen in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. The researchers also looked at conjunctivitis, otitis media, and candida. Approximately one-third of the women were prescribed one or more courses of antibiotics during pregnancy. The authors said that the women's exposure was associated with an increased incidence of asthma, eczema, and hay fever in their children. In the group, slightly over 20 percent (5,091 children) were diagnosed with asthma or wheeze; just over 31 percent (7,758 children) were diagnosed with eczema. The study appears in the second issue for September 2002 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
ALASKAN RACING SLED DOGS MODEL "SKI ASTHMA"
Alaskan sled dogs who compete in the Iditarod 1,100 mile endurance race are a model for a human condition called "ski asthma," a lung disease resulting from exercise-induced airway
injury and inflammation provoked by strenuous exercise in cold air, according to a study published in the second issue for September 2002 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-
reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The researchers studied
59 racing sled dogs 24 to 48 hours after they completed the 2000 Iditarod race. Eighty-one percent of the dogs (48 out of 59) had an abnormal
Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society