Stress during pregnancy 'ups offspring's asthma risk'

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Washington, Mar 19 (ANI): Stress during pregnancy may increase offspring's risk of asthma, say researchers.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston investigated differences in immune function markers in cord blood between infants born to mothers in high stress environments and those born to mothers with lower stress and found marked differences in patterns that may be associated with asthma risk later in life.

"This is the first study in humans to show that increased stress experienced during pregnancy in these urban, largely minority women, is associated with different patterns of cord blood cytokine production to various environmental stimuli, relative to babies born to lower-stressed mothers," said Rosalind Wright, M.D., M.P.H., associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. (ANI)

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