Proper iron intake must to save babies from autism

A new study has linked low iron intake with a five-fold greater risk of autism in children if the mother was 35 or older at the time of the child’s birth or if she suffered from metabolic conditions such as obesity, hyper-tension or diabetes. Mothers of children with autism are significantly less likely to report taking iron supplements before and during their pregnancies than mothers of children who are developing normally, the study indicates.

“The association between lower maternal iron intake and increased autism spectrum disorders (ASD) risk was strongest during breastfeeding,” said Rebecca J. Schmidt, an assistant professor from the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis. The study was conducted in mother-child pairs enrolled in the Northern California-based Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) study between 2002 and 2009.

The participants included mothers of children with autism and 346 mothers of children with typical development. The researchers examined maternal iron intake among the participants, including vitamins, other nutritional supplements and breakfast cereals during the three months prior to through the end of the women’s pregnancies and breastfeeding.

The mothers’ daily iron intake was examined, including the frequency, dosages and the brands of supplements that they consumed. “Iron deficiency and its resultant anemia is the most common nutrient deficiency, especially during pregnancy, affecting 40 to 50 percent of women and their infants,” Schmidt noted.

The research was published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Source: economic times

Study: Viral Infection in Nose Can Trigger Middle Ear Infection

Middle ear infections, which affect more than 85 per cent of children under the age of 3, can be triggered by a viral infection in the nose rather than solely by a bacterial infection, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre.

By simultaneously infecting the nose with a flu virus and a bacterium that is one of the leading causes of ear infections in children, the researchers found that the flu virus inflamed the nasal tissue and significantly increased both the number of bacteria and their propensity to travel through the Eustachian tube and infect the middle ear.

The study is published in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal Infection and Immunity.

“Every individual has bacteria in the nose that most of the time doesn’t cause problems,” said the study’s lead author, W Edward Swords, professor of microbiology and immunology at Wake Forest Baptist. “However, under certain conditions those bacteria can migrate to the middle ear and cause an ear infection, and now we have a better understanding of how and why that happens.”

The bacterium used in the animal study, Streptococcus pneumoniae, is known to exist in the noses of children in two phases, one relatively invasive and the other relatively benign. The more invasive phase is more frequently found in the infected ears of children. However, the study indicated that the flu virus promoted bacterial growth and ear infection regardless of which phase of the bacterium was present in the nose.

“These findings suggest that a flu infection modifies the response of the immune system to this particular bacterium, enabling even the type that has previously been considered benign to infect the middle ear,” Swords said.

Source: india medical times

Rare respiratory illness sends hundreds of kids in U.S. to hospital

Hundreds of children in the U.S. Midwest have been sent to hospital after falling sick with what’s thought to be a rare respiratory virus.

Symptoms resemble the common cold, but doctors say enterovirus D 68 seems to be sending more children to intensive care than a typical virus, particularly those with a history of asthma.

“It has been associated with clusters of respiratory viral illness, so that piece was well known,” Dr. Mary Ann Jackson, division director for infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., told NBC News. “But the clusters that have been seen in the past and reported have been small clusters of maybe, say, 25, 30 patients, and we were seeing that many patients in a day.”

More than 300 cases of the respiratory illness have been reported at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and 15 per cent of those children needed treatment with intensive care, said the Missouri Department of Health.

Hospitals in St. Louis are also seeing a spike in pediatric respiratory illnesses, the department said, without providing specifics.

The virus can cause mild cold-like symptoms, but this summer’s cases are unusually severe, said Mark Pallansch, director of the viral diseases division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s not highly unusual, but we’re trying to understand what happened this year in terms of these noticeable and much larger clusters of severe respiratory disease,” Pallansch said Monday.

Other states that have contacted CDC for help investigating clusters of enterovirus:

  • Missouri.
    North Carolina
    Doctors say enterovirus infections often occur in summer and fall, but are often mild or lead to no symptoms.

Most children recover without lasting problems.

Warning signs include diarrhea, vomiting, respiratory illnesses, high fever, red rash and irritability.

Officials are working to confirm the type of virus. Human enterovirus was first isolated in 1962.

There is no vaccine or antiviral therapy available.

In Canada, there have been 82 cases of this enterovirus in the last 15 years, but they haven’t always reported, said Dr. Caroline Quach, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Quach said, as with flu or cold bugs, keeping surfaces and toys clean and hand-washing are the best ways to prevent a case of enterovirus.

Source : cbc news

Kids living in megacities likelier to risk brain damage from air pollution

A new study has recently revealed that kids living in megacities are more prone to brain damage from air pollution.

Researchers from University of Montana revealed that children living in megacities are at increased risk for brain inflammation and neurodegenerative changes, including Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

Kids living in megacities likelier to risk brain damage from air pollution

The study found when air particulate matter and their components such as metals are inhaled or swallowed, they pass through damaged barriers, including respiratory, gastrointestinal and the blood-brain barriers and can result in long-lasting harmful effects.

Researchers compared 58 serum and cerebrospinal fluid samples from a control group living in a low-pollution city and matched them by age, gender, socioeconomic status, education and education levels achieved by their parents to 81 children living in Mexico City.

The results found that the children living in Mexico City had significantly higher serum and cerebrospinal fluid levels of autoantibodies against key tight-junction and neural proteins, as well as combustion-related metals.

The breakdown of the blood-brain barrier and the presence of autoantibodies to important brain proteins would contribute to the neuroinflammation observed in urban children and raises the question of what role air pollution plays in a 400 percent increase of MS cases in Mexico City, making it one of the main diagnoses for neurology referrals.

Once there’s a breakdown in the blood-brain barrier, not only would particulate matter enter the body but it also opens the door to harmful neurotoxins, bacteria and viruses.

While the study focused on children living in Mexico City, others living in cities where there are alarming levels of air pollution such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia-Wilmington, New York City, Salt Lake City, hicago, Tokyo, Mumbai, New Delhi or Shanghai, among others, also face major health risks. In the U.S. alone, 200 million people live in areas where pollutants such as ozone and fine particulate matter exceed the standards

Source: ani news

Binge drinking in pregnancy hurts child’s mental health

A new study has revealed that binge drinking during pregnancy can negatively affect mental health of child aged 11 and deteriorates his school performance.

Binge drinking in pregnancy hurts child's mental health

The study at University of Bristol showed that this was the case even after a number of other lifestyle and social factors were taken into account, including the mother’s own mental health, whether she smoked tobacco, used cannabis or other drugs during the pregnancy, her age, her education, and how many other children she had.

This builds on earlier research on the same children that found a link between binge drinking in pregnancy and their mental health when aged four and seven, suggesting that problems could persist as a child got older.

Lead author Kapil Sayal said that women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant should be aware of the possible risks associated with episodes of heavier drinking during pregnancy, even if this only occurs on an occasional basis.

Sayal added that the consumption of four or more drinks in a day might increase the risk for hyperactivity and inattention problems and lower academic attainment even if daily average levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are low.

Sayal continued that the study highlighted the need for clear policy messages about patterns of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, whereby women who chose to drink occasionally should avoid having several drinks in a day.

The study is published in the journal European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Source: zee news

Smoking Before Fatherhood May Raise Asthma Risk in Kids: Study

Men who smoke before becoming a parent may put their children at increased risk for asthma, a new study suggests.

Smoking Before Fatherhood May Raise Asthma Risk in Kids

Researchers analyzed the smoking habits of more than 13,000 men and women, and then looked at the incidence of asthma in their children. The results showed that asthma was much more common in children whose fathers were smokers before conception. A child’s risk of asthma increased if the father smoked before age 15, and the risk grew the longer the father smoked.

While the finding showed an association between a man’s smoking history and asthma risk in his children, it did not prove cause-and-effect.

There was no association between a mother being a smoker prior to conception and a child’s risk of asthma, according to the study that was to be presented Monday at the European Respiratory Society meeting in Munich, Germany.

“This study is important as it is the first study looking at how a father’s smoking habit pre-conception can affect the respiratory health of his children,” Dr. Cecile Svanes, of the University of Bergen in Norway, said in a European Lung Foundation news release.

“Given these results, we can presume that exposure to any type of air pollution, from occupational exposures to chemical exposures, could also have an effect. It is important for policymakers to focus on interventions targeting young men and warning them of the dangers of smoking and other exposures to their unborn children in the future,” Svanes added.

Animal studies have suggested that a father’s exposures before becoming a parent can harm his offspring, the researchers noted.

Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: health day

Animal fur bed helps reduce asthma risk in infants

A new study has observed that infants who sleep on animal fur in the first three months of life are less likely to suffer from asthma in later childhood.

Animal fur bed helps reducing asthma risk in infants

The study at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in Munich suggested that microbial environment in animal skin and fur could have a protective effect against asthma and allergies.

The researchers collected information on exposure to animal skin during the first three months of life, along with information on the health of children until the age of 10 years and information on 2,441 children was used in the study, with 55percent of those included sleeping on animal skin in the first three months of life. The results showed that sleeping on animal skin was associated with a reduced risk of a number of factors connected to asthma. Dr Christina Tischer, from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen Research Centre, said that previous studies suggested that microbes found in rural settings could protect from asthma. Tischer added that an animal skin might also be a reservoir for various kinds of microbes, following similar mechanisms as has been observed in rural environments.

Source: Times of India

See what Foods to Avoid in a Baby First Year

First year in baby’s life is crucial in forming the taste and introduction of solid foods to his diet. That’s why there is some limitation and products you need to avoid in order to indicate a proper development and behavior to your child.

 See what Foods to Avoid in a Baby First Year

We are all doing what’s best for our babies, and feeding them is big part of it. All the experts agree that avoiding some specific foods before baby’s first birthday has a strong influence in later healthy lifestyle and food behavior.

See below what products can cause damages if our babies consume it before first birthday.

Cow’s Milk

It is very healthy product but not for the babies. Cow’s milk contain some minerals and proteins that baby’s. system is not able to digest effectively. Iron, some vitamins and baby feedingother healthy nutrients are not contained in cow’s milk and it need to be replaced with some other substitute.

Walnuts and peanuts
Some foods, especially this kernel nuts are highest on the list of most allergenic foods and definitely are not supposed to be part of baby’s diet. Later (after first birthday) you can give to your child those products one by one in a very small quantity.

Honey is very healthy natural food but babies are not ready for it. Actually honey can cause a contracting botulism from the sweetening ingredients that is possible to have been in contact with bacteria-contaminated soil. This sweeteners like honey and corn syrup can also upset baby’s stomach and cause diarrhea.

Source: healthy food solution

Childhood obesity may cause asthma

It is more probable that childhood obesity contributes to asthma rather than the other way round, says a study.

Childhood obesity may cause asthma

For years, doctors have known that there is a link between childhood obesity and asthma, but have found it difficult to determine which condition tends to come first, or whether one causes the other.

“The relationship between obesity and asthma in adults, which shows that being overweight and obese can precede the onset of asthma, is supported by a number of studies,” said lead author of the study Perdita Permaul from Massachusetts General Hospital in the US.

“There is not as much evidence for children, but the progression from obesity to asthma, rather than the other way around, seems probable,” Permaul added.

Citing a study that showed that rapid growth in body mass index (BMI) during the first two years of life increased the risk of asthma up to six years of age, the team shows that the onset and duration of obesity and the composition of the excess fat can affect lung function.

“Most kids who suffer from asthma also have allergies,” said Michael Foggs, president, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

“These allergic responses in the lung can lead to symptoms of allergy,” Foggs added.

The study appeared in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Source: times of india

Fat kids are more likely to have high BP

Fat children are at a greater risk of hyper-tension (high blood pressure) — generally assumed to be an adult condition that causes health problems, such as heart diseases.

Fat kids are more likely to have high BP

“We found that obese boys had a nearly six-fold increased risk of hyper-tension compared to normal weighing boys. In obese girls the risk was more than four times greater than their normal weight counterparts,” said professor Peter Schwandt from the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich in Germany.

The study included 22,051 children and adolescents from the PEP (Prevention Education Programme) Family Heart Study, a community-based observational study which was performed from 1994 to 2008 in Nuremberg, Germany.

In each participant, the researchers measured blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), skinfold thickness (SFT) and percent body fat (%BF).

The prevalence of elevated blood pressure increased in boys and girls as body weight went up.

The researchers also found increased risk of hyper-tension with elevated SFT, %BF measurements and abdominal adiposity.

The study was presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2014 in Barcelona.

Source: zee news