July 23, 2014
2 min read

Six research developments in asthma

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Recent research in asthma has included associations with lung cancer and urinary dichlorophenol levels, and the use of e-cigarettes, antibiotics and vitamin D3.

Here are highlights of six studies presented in Healio Allergy/Immunology:


1. Asthma inversely linked to lung cancer

Asthma, eczema and hay fever were inversely associated with lung cancer in a study that also found that the strength of the protective effect varied, according to researchers.

“The risk estimates for all allergic diseases tended to point toward an inverse relation with lung cancer, which was weaker for asthma, of moderate strength for eczema, and strongest for hay fever,” Mariam El-Zein, PhD, of the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, at the Université du Québec, and colleagues wrote. Read more


2. E-cigarettes may worsen asthma, respiratory disease among youth

Vapors from electronic cigarettes may contain chemicals that have the potential to worsen acute respiratory diseases, such as asthma and bronchitis among adolescents and young adults, according to a press release.

Jonathan Thornburg

Jonathan Thornburg

“E-cigarettes produce a significant number of very small particles that impact a teen user’s airway viability,” Jonathan Thornburg, PhD, senior research engineer and program manager at RTI, said in a press release. Read more

3. Asthma relapse more likely after use of short-acting beta-2 agonists

Children who took short-acting beta-2 agonists within 6 hours before hospital admission and the presence of retractions on physical examinations increased their risk for relapse after the treatment for asthma exacerbations, according to data.

“In patients who are discharged from an emergency department after an asthma attack, those who took short-acting beta-2 agonists before admissions should be followed up closely because of the possibility of relapse,” researchers wrote. With Perspective. Read more


4. Antibiotic use in first year of life associated with asthma by age 3

There was a significant relationship between antibiotic use in the first year of life and the development of asthma and wheeze in children by age 3 years, which was possibly due to confounding respiratory infection, according to recent study results.

Researchers studied 300 mother-child pairs in the Peer Education in Pregnancy Study — an urban Chicago cohort of pregnant women at risk for having children with asthma — between 1998 and 2004. The study included pregnant women who had a first-degree relative with asthma, hay fever or eczema. Read more



5. Vitamin D3 treatment did not significantly affect asthma patients with low vitamin D levels

Vitamin D3 therapy did not reduce the rate of first treatment failure or exacerbation in adults with lower vitamin D levels and persistent asthma, according to recent study results.

Mario Castro, MD, MPH

Mario Castro

“Vitamin D supplementation in [those] patients did not improve their asthma control,” Mario Castro, MD, MPH, Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, told Healio.com. Read more


6. Asthma morbidity linked to higher urinary dichlorophenol levels

Asthma morbidity in patients with atopy and a history of wheezing is associated with high urinary dichlorophenol levels which are also associated with greater total serum IgE, according to researchers.

“The present results indicate that atopic wheezers with urinary dichlorophenol levels in the upper tertile are more likely to have physician-diagnosed asthma, to miss days from work or school because of wheezing, to require medications for wheezing, or to have wheezing with exercise,” researchers wrote. Read more