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Foetal and childhood growth and asthma in adult life

Foetal and childhood growth and asthma in adult life
Foetal and childhood growth and asthma in adult life
AIM: Recent research suggests that asthma may originate through defects in the airway epithelium, acquired in utero, and an altered response to infections after birth. Here, we examine whether asthma in adult life is associated with reduced body size at birth and poor living conditions in childhood.

METHODS: We studied 658 people taking medication for asthma in a cohort of 13 345 men and women born in Helsinki, Finland, during 1934-1944. Their body and placental size at birth, and their living conditions and growth in childhood, had been recorded.

RESULTS: The odds ratios for asthma were 0.93 (95% CI 0.89-0.97, p = 0.001) per cm increase in birth length and 0.92 (0.89-0.96, p < 0.001) per cm increase in the length of placental surface. After allowing for size at birth, growth during childhood was unrelated to asthma. People who were born into families of low socio-economic status were at increased risk of later asthma.

CONCLUSION: Slow linear growth in utero, which could be a result of impaired placentation, increases the risk of later asthma. Slow linear growth may be associated with impaired development of the airways. Babies with impaired lung development born into families of low socio-economic status may be most vulnerable to the disease.
asthma, birthweight, childhood growth, childhood living conditions, placenta
0803-5253
732-738
Barker, David J. P.
84efdf7a-7c52-45fc-aa16-9647f3743c27
Osmond, Clive
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Forsén, Tom J.
ee03b45d-d3f2-481d-a1c1-25489c75a9ba
Thornburg, Kent L.
49e1e87d-82d6-41f3-894e-ece7a5a19651
Kajantie, Eero
d68d55b6-6df1-4195-a914-44c738a6db93
Eriksson, Johan G.
eb96b1c5-af07-4a52-8a73-7541451d32cd
Barker, David J. P.
84efdf7a-7c52-45fc-aa16-9647f3743c27
Osmond, Clive
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Forsén, Tom J.
ee03b45d-d3f2-481d-a1c1-25489c75a9ba
Thornburg, Kent L.
49e1e87d-82d6-41f3-894e-ece7a5a19651
Kajantie, Eero
d68d55b6-6df1-4195-a914-44c738a6db93
Eriksson, Johan G.
eb96b1c5-af07-4a52-8a73-7541451d32cd

Barker, David J. P., Osmond, Clive, Forsén, Tom J., Thornburg, Kent L., Kajantie, Eero and Eriksson, Johan G. (2013) Foetal and childhood growth and asthma in adult life. Acta Paediatrica, 102 (7), 732-738. (doi:10.1111/apa.12257). (PMID:23560734)

Record type: Article

Abstract

AIM: Recent research suggests that asthma may originate through defects in the airway epithelium, acquired in utero, and an altered response to infections after birth. Here, we examine whether asthma in adult life is associated with reduced body size at birth and poor living conditions in childhood.

METHODS: We studied 658 people taking medication for asthma in a cohort of 13 345 men and women born in Helsinki, Finland, during 1934-1944. Their body and placental size at birth, and their living conditions and growth in childhood, had been recorded.

RESULTS: The odds ratios for asthma were 0.93 (95% CI 0.89-0.97, p = 0.001) per cm increase in birth length and 0.92 (0.89-0.96, p < 0.001) per cm increase in the length of placental surface. After allowing for size at birth, growth during childhood was unrelated to asthma. People who were born into families of low socio-economic status were at increased risk of later asthma.

CONCLUSION: Slow linear growth in utero, which could be a result of impaired placentation, increases the risk of later asthma. Slow linear growth may be associated with impaired development of the airways. Babies with impaired lung development born into families of low socio-economic status may be most vulnerable to the disease.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 26 April 2013
Published date: July 2013
Keywords: asthma, birthweight, childhood growth, childhood living conditions, placenta
Organisations: Human Development & Health

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 355128
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355128
ISSN: 0803-5253
PURE UUID: f9a86982-edcf-4584-b1da-292813a76e73
ORCID for Clive Osmond: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9054-4655

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Date deposited: 08 Aug 2013 11:08
Last modified: 02 Jun 2022 01:35

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Contributors

Author: David J. P. Barker
Author: Clive Osmond ORCID iD
Author: Tom J. Forsén
Author: Kent L. Thornburg
Author: Eero Kajantie
Author: Johan G. Eriksson

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