A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Aberdeen suggests that those children whose growth rate was slower as unborn babies were at a greater risk of suffering from asthma and other allergies.
The researchers observed the embryo development in 1,500 pregnant women at the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital during the 10th and 20th week of pregnancy and later conducted a follow up study 10 years later.
The researchers found that the risk of asthma among children, who as fetuses were smaller than average after 10 weeks, was five times greater compared to other children. Majority of the children also suffered from a number of allergies such as being allergic to dust mites, eggs or cats.
"We also found that changes in the expected growth rate were associated with altered risk for eczema and hayfever. In other words initial fetal size and subsequent growth trajectory are important to respiratory and allergic outcomes in childhood", lead researcher Dr Steve Turner said.