Immunology

Exposing baby to foods early may help prevent allergies

(HealthDay)—New parents worry about a lot of things, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says one thing they can cross off that list is concern about giving high-allergy foods too early in life.

Obstetrics & gynaecology

Prenatal high-dose vitamin D not linked to asthma at age 6

(HealthDay)—High-dose vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy is not associated with a child's risk for asthma at age 6 years, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American ...

Immunology

Homes with high ventilation rates tied to respiratory issues

(HealthDay)—People living in homes with high average air exchange rates (AAERs) are more likely to report chronic cough, asthma, or asthma-like symptoms, according to a study published in the February issue of Environmental ...

Immunology

New findings may help guide treatment of patients with asthma

Asthma patients often undergo tests involving inhaled methacholine, a drug that can cause narrowing of the airways, similar to what occurs in asthma. In a Respirology analysis of data on patients undergoing such tests, obesity ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Scientists developing new vaccine strategy for tuberculosis

For years, scientists have been trying to come up with a better way to protect people against tuberculosis, the disease caused by infection with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) bacteria. Texas Biomedical Research Institute ...

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Asthma (from the Greek άσθμα, ásthma, "panting") is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Asthma is clinically classified according to the frequency of symptoms, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate. Asthma may also be classified as atopic (extrinsic) or non-atopic (intrinsic).

It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment of acute symptoms is usually with an inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonist (such as salbutamol). Symptoms can be prevented by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants, and by inhaling corticosteroids. Leukotriene antagonists are less effective than corticosteroids and thus less preferred.

Its diagnosis is usually made based on the pattern of symptoms and/or response to therapy over time. The prevalence of asthma has increased significantly since the 1970s. As of 2010, 300 million people were affected worldwide. In 2009 asthma caused 250,000 deaths globally. Despite this, with proper control of asthma with step down therapy, prognosis is generally good.

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