Asthma UK response to research highlighting that rapid weight gain in first three months of life increases asthma risk

Today a research paper was published highlighting that babies who gain weight rapidly in the first three months of life are more likely to develop asthma and for it to persist into adolescence. Below is what Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK had to say about it:

"Asthma is a complex condition, affecting 1 in 11 people in the UK, yet years of research underfunding means it still remains a relative mystery. The relationship between birth weight and the development of asthma is unclear; while these new findings show that babies who gain weight quickly in the first three months of life may be at increased risk of developing asthma, it has also been recognised previously that babies born with a low birth weight are more likely to develop asthma later on in childhood. More research is needed to get a clearer picture of the connection between a baby's weight and their likelihood of developing asthma in later life.

"Diagnosing asthma in children is difficult as there isn't currently a single test your child can take to tell if they definitely have the condition. It can be extremely worrying for a parent when their child starts to show signs of the condition at a young age, so we encourage parents to work in partnership with their doctor or nurse, sharing vital information about their symptoms, to help identify if their child has asthma.

"If you think your baby or child is experiencing asthma symptoms; a tightness in their chest; difficulty in breathing; wheeziness or a dry cough (particularly at night, early in the morning or when they don't have a cold) you should visit your GP or asthma nurse. If you have a concern about your child's asthma, you can call the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800."

You can read more about the story here.