New Findings On Asthma And Breastfeeding, Obesity And Asthma And Snoring And Pre-eclampsia At ALA/ATS Meeting

ear or two, breast milk has been shown to be a bioactive, live fluid filled with proteins and lipids so essential for developing infants," she said. "Babies need as much help as they can get in developing their immune system and organs. Their mother's milk gives them the very best protective immunological factors, which are difficult to include in formula."

Oddy said that breast milk transmits immunity from the mother to baby, and can lead to enhanced tolerance to infection, which increase chances of an infant's survival. "Because asthma is a disease of inflammation, these processes occurring very early in life may affect an individual's health well into childhood and beyond," she said. "My research has shown that this is occurring, with protection against asthma and allergy from exclusive breastfeeding (and no introduction of other formula or milk) extending into childhood."

Obesity and Asthma
Obesity may increase the risk of asthma in children, a study presented at the conference suggests. Researchers studying 16,862 children of female nurses found that the most overweight children had approximately twice the risk of asthma compared with the thinnest boys, and the most overweight girls had 1.5 times the risk of asthma compared with the thinnest children. The study, which included boys and girls ages 9 to 14, was conducted by Carlos A. Camargo, Jr., M.D., Dr.P.H. of Brigham and Women's Hospital. Last year, Dr. Camargo presented a study at the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society International Conference using data from a study of more than 100,000 nurses that found that the more overweight a nurse was, the greater her risk of developing asthma in adulthood.

Obesity and asthma are both on the rise in developed nations. An estimated 14.6 million Americans, including 4.8 million children, suffer from asthma. Between 1982 and 1994, the rate of asthma rose 61%, while the rate of pediatric asthma rose 72%.

Contact: Bill Glitz
American Lung Association

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