Asthma series – you can control it (part 2)
June 13th 2008 00:18
Previous post I was giving out an introduction about asthma, this post we talk about what causes and who is at risk of asthma.
Article extracted and compiled from Health and Beauty Malaysia 2008
Image extracted from Yahoo
In our email interview with Prof. Dr. Jessie, a consultant Paediatrician and Respiratory Paediatrician in Malaysia, she mentioned that no one is really sure why a person has asthma. It is something that runs in families so there is a genetic predisposition.
However, even if no one else in the family has asthma, a person may still develop asthma and even if everyone else in your family has asthma any family member may not necessary have it.
Dr. Jessie also stated that in predisposed individuals, something happens to “switch on” the asthma but no one is sure what this switch is. It may be an allergen or it may be an infection or it may be pollutants. Although animal dander may worsen asthma in someone who already has asthma, children raised in farming communities and exposed to animals actually have lower incidence of asthma.
“Some infections may ‘switch on’ the asthma and some may actually protect you from developing asthma by influencing your immune system. Although pollution has been implicated in asthma, some more heavily polluted areas have lover rates of asthma. (eg East Germany vs. West Germany). It may also vary from individual to individual. The origins of asthma are still a puzzle.” Dr. Jessie said.
International study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood (ISAAC) indicates that on a global basis the prevalence of asthma may have reached a plateau. For example in Malaysia, ISAAC figures for the Klang Valley (in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding area) showed the prevalence I n13 – 14 year olds to have risen from 13.9% in 1995 and 16.1% in 2001. However this increase was not as great in another 2 centres – Alor Setar (northern west peninsular Malaysia) where it recorded 10.2% in 1995 and 10.6% in 2001, and Kota Bahru (northern east peninsular Malaysia) that recorded 8.6% in 1995 and 9% in 2001.
Therefore you cannot pin point the source of the culprit to asthma as it all involved in environment, lifestyle and individual genetics.
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