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Conception factors linked to asthma

Wednesday December 5th, 2018

Problems with conception may be linked to a child’s later risk of asthma, researchers report today.

A team of researchers in Norway investigated a potential role for parental subfertility and childhood asthma risk, as they predict there are common mechanisms underlying both.

Dr Maria Magnus of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, and colleagues, noted a raised risk of asthma reported among children conceived by assisted reproductive technologies and examined the role of parental subfertility, using figures from national Norwegian health registries.

Information on 74,402 people was analysed, along with figures from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.

Results appear today (5 December) in Thorax. Children conceived by assisted reproduction had a 20% increased risk of asthma according to the registry figures, and 42% in the study figures.

This raised risk was in the same region as that seen for children whose parents had conceived naturally, after at least 12 months of trying.

Asthma risk was also increased in children whose mothers had a history of first trimester miscarriage - about 7% for one previous miscarriage, 18% for two, and 24% for three or more miscarriages.

Further analysis showed that children conceived with fertility treatment were significantly more likely to have asthma than those whose parents took over a year to conceive, the researchers say.

"This suggests that poorer fertility doesn’t by itself completely explain the observed heightened asthma risk among children conceived with the aid of fertility treatment, and that aspects of the treatment itself may have a role," they believe.

Magnus, M. C. et al. Maternal history of miscarriages and measures of fertility in relation to childhood asthma. Thorax 5 December 2018 doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2018-211886

http://thorax.bmj.com/lookup/doi/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2018-211886

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Cancer | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Respiratory

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