Breast-Feeding May Protect Against Heart Disease


 

Cases of ear infections have also increased in recent years. Children who regularly develop ear infections may have an increased risk of asthma, a study suggests.

Doctors in the United States examined the medical records of 7,538 children between the ages of two and 11.

They found that children with a history of multiple ear infections were twice as likely to develop asthma compared to those who had never had an infection.

Writing in the journal Chest, they called for more research to see if there really is a link.

As many as 150m people around the world have asthma and the numbers are rising fast. It causes 180,000 deaths each year.

Scientists do not know why so many people are developing the condition. However, a number of theories abound, one of which is that illness in childhood increases the risks.

This latest study suggests that there may be a link with ear infections.

Higher risk

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that 72% of the children they looked at had suffered at least one ear infection. Overall, 9% had asthma.

They found that the risks of developing asthma increased with each infection.

Further research is clearly needed

Professor Martyn Partridge,
Asthma UK


Children with three or more infections were twice as likely to have asthma compared to those who had never had an infection.

"The prevalence of ear infections has increased significantly over the years, paralleling the rise in asthma rates," said Kamal Eldeirawi, one of those involved in the study.

"Our study confirms the association between the two conditions, showing that ear infections in early childhood may lead to asthma later in life," he said.

"It is possible that specific viruses or bacteria that cause recurrent ear infections may play a major role in the development of asthma.

"It is also possible that antibiotics that are commonly used to treat ear infections increase the risk of asthma, but more research is needed in this area."

Dr Richard Irwin, president of the American College of Chest Physicians, backed the call for more research.

"Determining the relationship between ear infections and asthma may help to identify or even anticipate health problems in children, while enabling physicians to provide more effective treatments for these conditions," he said.

Further research

Asthma UK's chief medical adviser Professor Martyn Partridge said much more research is needed.

"This is an interesting association but there is too little to suggest that one disease has caused the other.

"If the association is not by chance alone then there is a possibility that greater use of antibiotics is in some way associated with the subsequent asthma," he said.

"The other alternative is that infection of one or other type is associated with the onset of asthma and there have been previous studies suggesting an association between the bacteria mycoplasma pneumoniae and subsequent development of asthma.

"As the authors of this latest study say, further research is clearly needed."

 

 

Send this pageto a friend
Email to a Friend
Share your experience with friends and family.
Foot Pain Podcasts
Podcast
We have a great archive of audio to help you.
Chat to a Foot Expert Now
Live Chat Now
Professional podiatrist will chat live right now about your problem.

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter and receive a 10% discount off your first order

Ask the Specialist

FREE advice - Ask a specialist. Ask Dr Foot a Question about Foot Pain?

Read More
Reasons to Buy Foot Care  Products

Our customers have great results with our products find out why.

Read More

Lets Talk About Feet

Join us for a live chat with
a Dr Foot advisory board
member every Thursday
10 a.m to 11 a.m GMT

Osteoarthritis Specialist View Now

Foot Pain Identifier

Click where it hurts
and view common
foot conditions

Osteoarthritis Identifier View Now

Message Board

View all the recent
topics now.

Osteoarthritis Message Board View Now