and more people are suffering from asthma these days, even
though research shows that outdoor air pollutants are decreasing.
What's the explanation for this disturbing trend? One possible
answer may be just as disturbing.
A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical and
Experimental Allergy examined the potential for antibiotic
use in childhood to contribute to the development of asthma.
A survey mailed to the parents of 612 grade-school students(5-10
years old) asked questions about antibiotic use and history
of asthma in their children.
Results showed that children given antibiotics in their first
year of life were over four times more likely to develop asthma
symptoms than children who had never taken antibiotics. This
increased risk was evident even after the researchers accounted
for potential variables such as gender, ethnicity, family
size, family history of asthma and parents' smoking habits.
If asthma is linked to antibiotics, then it's just another
of many risk factors associated with antibiotic use. As a
parent, you may want to think twice before giving antibiotics
to your children, especially if they're not specifically required.
Always find out why your doctor is prescribing a particular
medication, and ask if there are acceptable nonpharmacological
alternatives available. And get a second opinion -- from your
Wickens K, Pearce N, Crane J, et al. Antibiotic use in early
childhood and the development of asthma. Journal of Clinical
and Experimental Allergy, 1999: Vol. 29, pp766-71.
For more information about asthma, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/asthma.html