A new study by Dutch researchers has revealed that babies who grow rapidly in the initial 90 days of life have a high risk of developing asthma.
Researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam examined the growth of 5,125 babies. The babies were followed up yearly and researchers questioned their parents on the development of symptoms that could indicate the risk of future asthma.
They found that "accelerated weight gain" in the first three months of life increased the chances of the baby developing wheezing. Furthermore, babies who gained weight rapidly were 44% more likely to suffer wheezing as compared to babies who had normal growth patterns.
These babies were also 22% more likely to have shortness of breath and 30% more likely to have persistent phlegm as compared to normal growth babies. "Our results suggest that the relationship between infant weight gain and asthma symptoms is not due to the accelerated growth of fetal growth-restricted infants only. While the mechanisms underlying this are unclear, accelerated weight growth in early life might adversely affect lung growth," said study researcher Dr Liesbeth Dujits.
The details appear in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.