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Genetic predisposition increases childhood asthma risk
Date:8/20/2007

more likely to have asthma than those with lower activity. Children who carried both variations and lived within 75 meters of a major road were at the highest asthma risk. The results were consistent for current, early and late onset asthma.

"This finding demonstrates the critical role of gene environment interaction in determining disease susceptibility," says David A. Schwartz, M.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "The investigators at USC have identified key genetic variations in biological pathways related to PAH metabolism that are associated with the occurrence of asthma in children who live in close proximity to traffic."

Approximately 12 percent of children in the study carried both of the variations and three percent were in the highest risk group based on where they lived. However, there are a number of genes that could be linked with asthma, and researchers are just beginning to study the associations between genes and environmental factors, Salam says.

It is difficult to say that if parents with an asthmatic child move further from busy streets, the child will definitely have fewer symptoms, he explains. All that can be said at this moment is that data from this and other studies show strong evidence that living near heavy traffic increases asthma risks and exacerbates symptoms in children who already have asthma.


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Contact: Meghan Lewit
lewit@usc.edu
323-442-2830
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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