Determining the Underlying Causes of Asthma

2055 Words9 Pages
Asthma is the most common worldwide chronic condition that affects both young and old. It is a condition in which the air way passages are narrowed leading to symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and cough (Bijanzadeh, Mahesh, Nallur 1). Asthma is caused by increased infiltration of inflammatory cells into the airway, constriction, airway smooth-muscle hypertrophy, and mucous hypersecretion in the bronchiolar walls of the lung (Bijanzadeh, Mahesh, Nallur 1). Most asthma attacks are short, a few minutes to a few hours, and the person recovers completely this is called episodic asthma disease. However, those who have acute severe asthma is much more serious because the asthma attacks lasts for days or weeks, and sometimes it leads to death (Bijanzadeh, Mahesh, Nallur 1).

Most of the time asthma develops in early childhood, and remains present throughout the person’s life. Many factors increase the risk of children developing asthma. Such factors include genetic predisposition, gene-by-environment interaction, environmental factors, prenatal risk factors such as maternal smoking, diet, nutrition, stress, antibiotics, and mode of delivery (Subbarao, Mandhane, and Sears 181). Whether a child inherits the genes for asthma or is exposed to these factors that cause epigenetic in their DNA sequences leading to asthma the outcome is the same-asthma.

To test whether gene-by-environment hypothesis is supported by evidence a study was done over a course of 7 years. The results of this study indicated that the prevalence of asthma was stable or decreased in some areas of the world while in other parts of the world it increased (Subbarao, Mandhane, and Sears 182). This study revealed that asthma in both children and a...

... middle of paper ...

...." The Indian Journal of Medical Research 134.2 (2011): 149-61. Print.

"Epigenetics." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 06 Nov. 2011. .

Rebecca C. Fry, et al. "Epigenetic Changes Induced by Air Toxics: Formaldehyde Exposure Alters miRNA Expression Profiles in Human Lung Cells." Environmental Health Perspectives 119.4 (2011): 494-500. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 29 Oct. 2011.

Subbarao, Padmaja, Piush J. Mandhane, and Malcolm R. Sears. "Asthma: Epidemiology, Etiology And Risk Factors." CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal 181.9 (2009): E181-E190. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.

V. Backer, et al. "Estimates of asthma heritability in a large twin sample." Clinical & Experimental Allergy 40.7 (2010): 1054-1061. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.
Open Document