Babies with breathing troubles at birth may get asthma by the time they are 10 years old, says a study in Norway.
Geir Haland and other researchers at the University of Oslo in Norway studied the lung function of 802 healthy, full-term newborns shortly after birth and followed up after 10 years, reported the online edition of health Magazine WebMD.
None of the babies had severe breathing problems. But some had better lung function than others. Ten years later, the 10-year-olds took several breathing tests -- including one done as they ran on a treadmill.
The researchers also took allergy, blood and urine tests. In addition, the parents of the babies reported whether the children had ever had asthma. The researchers found that kids with reduced lung function at birth were more likely to have asthma by the time they were 10.
The results held that the researchers took other factors into account, such as whether the kids' parents had asthma and if their moms had smoked during pregnancy.
"These results suggest that alterations of airway function associated with later asthma may be present and detectable a few days after birth," the researchers wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.
However, they said they weren't recommending lung function tests to screen newborns for asthma risk. "Lung function can vary in the first few days after birth. Thus, our data would not support the use of such measures as screening tests for the risk of subsequent asthma."