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Babies Born In High Pollen & Mold Months At Wheezing Risk

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

A recent study shows that children exposed to high levels of pollen and mold in their first few months of life are more likely to develop wheezing, which is a possible early symptom of asthma.

Researchers from the University of California Berkeley studied more than 500 children in California’s Salinas Valley. They found that children born in high mold season (fall and winter) were three times more likely to develop wheezing by the age of two than children born at other times of the year.

The findings help clarify why babies born in the fall and winter appear to have a higher risk of developing asthma than children born in the fall. As many as 40 percent of children who wheeze early in life may go on to develop childhood asthma.

Study author Kim Harley, associate director of health effects research at UC Berkeley’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research said she and her colleagues were continuing to follow the children in the study.

“We are not in a position to say conclusively why some children develop asthma, or to even suggest precautionary measures to help babies born in the fall and winter,” study senior author Dr. Ira Tager, professor of epidemiology, said in a news release. “We already know that family history is a major risk factor for developing asthma, but the role environmental factors play is still being fleshed out. What this study does is provide valuable clues about airborne allergens that are worth exploring further.”

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