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This Test Could Help Prevent Babies From Developing Asthma

Photograph by Twenty20

Pregnant women can help reduce asthma in in their babies with a simple breath test, doctors have found. Australia’s Hunter Medical Research Institute used a test to measure levels of nitric oxide which shows how much inflammation is in the lungs. And the results were pretty incredible.

Half of the women studied were prescribed meds based on how they described their own symptoms, while the other half just kept track of how they felt. They were also assessed by a breath test to measure their nitric oxide levels.

The researchers found that by tweaking the pregnant women’s medications based on the breath test, the incidences of asthma in their babies were cut in half.

"In the babies born to the women following asthma guidelines alone, 40 percent of children developed asthma,” said Dr. Adam Collison. He added that of the women who used the breath test, about 20 percent of the babies became asthmatic. Women who use the breath test are more likely to take the correct dose of medicine earlier.

The researchers also found that babies born to mothers who took the breath test wheezed less and had fewer lung infections.

Chairwoman of Australia’s Lung Foundation Christine Jenkins said respiratory health during pregnancy is the new frontier of asthma research. She suggests women who are pregnant or want to start a family and suffer from asthma should to talk to their doctors about treatment options.

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