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News

Search for genes and risk factors that increase infant asthma

Yale University : 08 May, 2003  (New Product)
Investigators at Yale and Oxford University have been awarded over $3.3 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a five-year study to investigate the genetic and environmental risk factors that increase susceptibility for developing asthma in early infancy.
Investigators at Yale and Oxford University have been awarded over $3.3 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a five-year study to investigate the genetic and environmental risk factors that increase susceptibility for developing asthma in early infancy.

This work is a follow-up to an earlier Yale project that investigated, in 873 pregnant asthmatic women and 1,336 control mothers, possible risks of asthma and the medications used to treat it, on the developing fetus, as well as the influence of pregnancy on the asthmatic status of the mother.

In the new study, the offspring of the previously studied pregnancies will be followed to age five to see which children develop asthma and which do not. The investigators will examine how a series of genetic polymorphisms influence the role of many known environmental factors in leading to early onset and more severe asthma in children. Identification of pregnancy and neonatal risk factors for infant asthma may offer opportunities for early prevention.

The study will be directed by Michael B. Bracken, The Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology at Yale whose colleagues are Alia Bazzy-Asaad, Associate Professor of Pediatrics; The Kathleen Belanger, research scientist in Epidemiology; Theodore R. Holford, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Biostatistics; Brian P. Leaderer, The Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Environmental Health; and Elizabeth W. Triche, associate research scientist in Epidemiology. The Oxford team is led by Professor William Cookson from the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics who will collaborate in the genetic analysis with Dr. Miriam Moffatt.

The Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology, founded in 1979 as the Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, investigates a wide range of environmental, genetic and medically induced factors that influence the health of pregnant women and young children. It is co-directed by Bracken and Leaderer.
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