The early origins of asthma: Who is really at risk?

Sly, Peter D. (2011) The early origins of asthma: Who is really at risk?. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 11 1: 24-28. doi:10.1097/ACI.0b013e328342309d

Author Sly, Peter D.
Title The early origins of asthma: Who is really at risk?
Journal name Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1528-4050
Publication date 2011-02-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328342309d
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 11
Issue 1
Start page 24
End page 28
Total pages 5
Place of publication Philadelphia PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose of review
Asthma is largely a developmental disease in which the normal development of the
respiratory and immune systems is altered by the impacts of environmental exposures acting on underlying genetic predispositions. This review will comment on the latest evidence in this field.

Recent findings
There is increasing evidence that several potentially overlapping genetic predispositions
may contribute to the development of asthma, including predisposition to abnormal
lung growth, resulting in lower lung function; delayed immune maturation; predisposition to lower respiratory viral infections; early allergic sensitization; and predisposition to bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Networks of genes and environmental modification of gene expression via epigenetic mechanisms are also likely to be important. Antenatal exposures that increase the risk of asthma include tobacco smoke, ambient and indoor air pollution. Impacts of maternal nutrition and maternal diseases, such as asthma and diabetes, are also important. Early life environmental exposures may also increase the risk of asthma via impacts on lung growth and immune maturation. Synergistic interactions between viral lower respiratory infections and allergic sensitization in early life appear to be especially important in increasing the risk of subsequent asthma.

The major risk factors for childhood asthma are a family history of asthma and allergies, early and persistent allergic sensitization to environmental allergens and viral lower respiratory illnesses in early life.
Keyword Environmental exposures
Genetic predisposition
Immune system
Respiratory system
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 42 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 23 Jan 2011, 10:06:49 EST