What Are the Risk Factors for Asthma

What Are the Risk Factors for Asthma

What Are the Risk Factors for Asthma?

• Allergies. Asthma is not a single disease but a collection of syndromes, including bronchoconstriction, caused in part by allergens. Allergens that are known to trigger bronchoconstriction are milk, eggs, nuts, fish, shrimp, and peanuts. Allergic reactions can lead to asthmatic attacks.

• Cigarette smoking. About 25% of asthmatic patients are habitual smokers. Smoking damages lung function and aggravates the symptoms of asthma. Smoking diminishes the efficacy of corticosteroid, a common medication to treat asthma.

• Air pollution. Air pollution induces the inflammation of the bronchi and exacerbates asthma. Asthmatic children are particularly susceptible to air pollution. Pollutants weaken immune functions and increase the frequency of asthmatic attacks.

• Viral infection of the respiratory tract. Viral infection of the respiratory tract can worsen the symptoms of asthmatic children. Syncytial virus, rhinovirus, metapneumovirus, and coronavirus are known to infect the respiratory tract in children.

• Obesity. Obesity causes chronic inflammation in the respiratory tract and reduces pulmonary function, increasing the risk of asthma.

• Family and genetics. Genes are linked to asthma. ORMDL3 gene mutations cause the accumulation of eosinophils and induce allergic inflammation in the bronchi. Children with ORMDL3 gene mutations have a higher risk of childhood asthma.