Purpose of review
This review aims to recognize the multifactorial cause of asthma
, from the influence of mother until adulthood, highlight the main characteristics of the disease at different ages and summarize the evidence of potential prevention
To date, regarding the prenatal period, the presence of specific genes, maternal asthma
, drugs, and tobacco exposure are the most relevant predisposing features for an asthmatic offspring. For newborns, preterm, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and low birth weight has been associated with low lung function. Among young children, atopic dermatitis, lower respiratory tract infections, and increased levels of total Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and allergen-specific IgE are important determinants.
Breastfeeding has been demonstrated being protective for the onset of asthma. Allergen immunotherapy has also been shown to have significant preventive effect decreasing asthma development. Inhaled corticosteroids use in early childhood prevents exacerbations but does not alter the natural history of asthma. Other interventions, such as the use of palivizumab, probiotics, vitamin D supplementation, and fish consumption presented controversial results.
A good knowledge of risk factors
development, from prenatal period to adulthood, may lead to efficacious preventive strategies. Further data of long-term follow-up in population-based studies according to different phenotypes are needed.