Adults + “First Cats” = Allergy Risk
People who have never had a cat before and then get one in adulthood double their risk of developing an allergy to cats, according to Italian researchers. Keeping the cat out of the bedroom, however, eliminates the risk.
C-section Birth Linked to Asthma
Babies who are born via Cesarean section may be slightly more likely than others to develop asthma by the time they are three years old. But don’t blame the C-section itself. Norwegian researchers believe the finding may be due to altered bacterial flora in the intestines of these kids that affects their immune systems – or the fact that children born by C-section often have respiratory problems early in life.
Asthma May Not Be Created Equally for All
Nearly half of asthma patients with mild to moderate disease may have a form of asthma that differs from that seen in people with more severe symptoms. This could explain why asthma drugs don’t work well in these people, report University of California San Francisco researchers. They looked for white blood cells called eosinophils in sputum samples from asthma patients, finding 47% lacked the cells. Most asthma drugs target these white blood cells.
Asthma Drugs and Rare Birth Defects
Asthma drugs are relatively safe for pregnant women, but a small increase in rare birth defects such as incomplete development of the esophagus, missing or blocked opening of the anus, and intestines or other organs that protrude from the naval may exist. Women who used asthma drugs around the time of conception, or during the first trimester were at slightly higher risk for these rare birth defects. Researchers caution, however, that asthma itself could also play a role in the birth defects.