June 23rd, 2012

Late Preemie Birth May Be Linked to Higher Asthma Risk

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Babies born just a few weeks early appear to face a greater risk of developing asthma when compared with children born at full term, new research reveals. The observation applied to infants born between the 34th and 37th week of pregnancy. One-quarter of such "late preterm" babies ended up with an asthma diagnosis by the age of 8 years, despite no prior indications of respiratory illness, the study team found. By contrast, just 15 percent of babies delivered after 37 weeks were found to develop asthma. "About 10 percent of our babies are born at this [preterm] gestational age, and not much thought is given to their risk of asthma," study co-author Dr. Gretchen Matthews, a pediatrician and neonatologist at the Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester, Minn., explained in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

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HealthDay by Alan Mozes

Tags: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Dr. Gretchen Matthews, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Neonatology, Pediatrics, preterm babies, Research

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