Research finds that infants with a family history of Asthma and allergies wheeze more if their caregivers, especially the moms, are stressed. The study at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston looked at nearly 500 infants, and they found that divorced and single caregivers showed higher stress levels than did those who were married. The babies responded to that stress with more wheezing.
The theory is that stress triggers a response in the brain and the immune system that may affect airway inflammation and trigger wheezing. In addition, the study says children were more likely to wheeze if they had mothers (but not fathers) with active Asthma.
High levels of cockroach antigen in the house was also a risk factor for infant wheezing. Researchers say they will continue to follow the infants to determine if exposure to stress early in life increases the risk of Asthma in childhood.
The study appears in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The research was conducted by Dr. Rosalind Wright at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.