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Genetic testing could predict long-lasting effects of asthma in children

As the UK’s most common long-term medical condition, scientists have been looking for innovative new ways of treatment and care for people who suffer from asthma. 1 in 11 children are currently receiving treatment for their asthma condition, and parents and patients alike are familiar with the various triggers and medications which help manage asthma for an unrestricted everyday routine.

Asthma affects the airways, and the way that air is carried throughout the lungs. With asthma, the airways to the lungs are more sensitive and when the lungs come into contact with a trigger such as exercise, allergens or air pollution, it results in an asthma attack.
Although half the amount of children currently suffering from asthma will mature out of it when they reach adulthood, the remaining half will continue to live with the condition as they grow older.

The Lancet Respiratory Journal have reported that a new genetic test could help improve the conditions of those more likely to carry the condition into their adult lives. In a 40-year-long study conducted at Duke University in America, researchers compared the genetic markers of children currently suffering from asthma against those with known physical symptoms of the condition over time, and generated an individual score for each patient.
Those with family history of the disease were found to be of lower risk of having asthma in adulthood, whereas those exposed to more environmental factors such as pollution or other irritants are more likely to continue having the condition as they grow older.

Although the genetic testing process is a long way off from being used in everyday medicine, it is a step forward for those looking to treat and manage the condition in the future.

Pre-existing medical travel insurance which covers those suffering from asthma allows patients to get away for some well-deserved relaxation.

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