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Exposure To Molds May Raise Children’s Asthma Risk

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Exposure To Molds May Raise Children’s Asthma Risk

New discoveries on the triggers of asthma in children have been made by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC). They found that  children exposure to certain types of mold (Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus unguis and Penicillium variabile) is an important risk factor for developing asthma in children.

Asthma is a respiratory disease characterized by chronic airway inflammation. Asthma has several features in addition to chronic inflammation: bronchospasm, reversible airway obstruction, bronchial hyperreactivity. It is worth mentioning that asthma occurs in vulnerable persons or people with a positive family history for allergies.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, conducted a study with 300 patients. They have followed the children not only in the first 4 years of life and then at the age of 7 years, but also the living conditions (home allergens and mold). Also, in the study  there were enrolled only children whose parents had allergies. What researchers found was that a quarter of children developed asthma in the first seven years of life. It is known that asthma has an important allergic component. There are incriminated occupational allergens, drugs, air pollutants (pollen, fungus, beetles, mites, etc.).

Molds

Molds

According to the researchers, mold exposure is a risk factor for developing asthma in children. They used the relative moldiness environmental index (ERMI) in order to determine that exposure to certain species of mold causes asthma. Pr.Reponen, professor in the UC College of Medicine’s Environmental Health department, pointed out previous studies lacked of information about what species of mold were implied in development of asthma. What was known was that mold exposure worsens asthma symptoms. He also added that  knowledge of etiological factors of asthma may be a step forward to the  development of  new therapeutic targets to control the disease. “This is strong evidence that indoor mold contributed to asthma development and this stresses the urgent need for remediating water damage in homes, particularly in lower-income, urban areas where this is a common issue,” mentioned Reponen.

It is important to known that there are two type of asthma: allergic  and non-allergenic asthma. Also, allergic asthma has two categories: atopic asthma and nonatopic asthma. Atopic asthma means that there is a predisposition to develop this disease, it has onset in childhood and is characterized by high levels of IgE. There are many factors involved in the development of asthma. Air pollutants, viral respiratory infections, stress, exercise are only a few risk factors for asthma. Also, maternal smoking during pregnancy or after delivery is considered an important risk factor.