Fertility problems increase the risk of asthma in children

When parents resort to fertility treatments, the risk of the newborn suffering from asthma is higher.

Childhood asthma is more and more common around the world. This chronic disease is due to inflammation of the bronchi that can be linked to multiple factors. Researchers have realized that fertility disorders experienced by parents can also increase the risk of having a child with asthma. Taking treatment to improve fertility and the number of miscarriages are indicators. The study was published in the British Medical Journal.

Data from the Norwegian health registers were used to carry out this new research. In total, information on more than 550,000 children has been collected. 4% of them were asthmatic. The results show that when parents resort to fertility treatments, children are 42% more likely to have asthma. Miscarriages would also be correlated with asthma: a single miscarriage would increase the risk by 7% and two miscarriages would increase the risk by 24%.

The symptoms of Asthma

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Wheezing
  • A feeling of tightness, chest tightness
  • A dry cough

Further studies will be needed to understand the reasons for such increased risk, but researchers are already making some assumptions. Fertility treatments may have an impact on the embryo and its development, such as drugs that cause ovulation, egg freezing, etc. The immune system could also be involved in this phenomenon, because it is, in part, the cause of fertility problems and miscarriages.

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Asthma is always favored by certain risk factors. When other people in the family have asthma, there is a high probability that the child will be asthmatic too. But the environment also plays an important role, such as passive smoking, pollution, or the presence of allergens, pollen or mites for example. Treatments make it possible to live and grow very well while being asthmatic, but if they are not well followed, the risk of a worsening of the disease is high. The sooner the asthma arrives, the more likely it is to persist over the years. There are approximately 6.1 million children and 20.1 million adults suffer from asthma in the United States according to the CDC.

Andrei Santov

Andrei, a sociologist by profession, born in Russia but currently located in UK, covers mostly European and Russia-related news for The Talking Democrat.