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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Researchers say mold may cause asthma

Harvard Medical School researchers believe mold and fungus in the home might be responsible for worsening asthma, and in some cases might even cause asthma.

According to this article, "exposure to high levels of mold may increase the risk of severe asthma attacks among people with certain chitinase gene -- CHIT1 -- variants."

Plus, "the presence of chitinases -- enzymes that break down chitin found in the cell walls of mold -- could be signaling inflammation."

Ann Wu of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston said "Our results support increasing evidence that CHIT1, which is primarily released in the lung, plays an important role in the pathophysiology of asthma in the proper environmental context of exposure to chitin, which was approximated by mold levels."

Thus, mold has been linked to worsening asthma, and asthma exacerbations requiring hospitalization. There was also a link found between mold and fungus and severe asthma attacks.

We knew mold was a major asthma trigger, yet this provide us with more evidence. This is why it is essential that asthmatics, and those with the asthma gene (asthma runs in your family) have their homes checked for mold.

You'll want to make sure there is no standing water in your home, and leaks should be fixed as soon as possible. Besides seeing your doctor regularly, and taking your asthma medicines exactly as prescribed, it is essential that you also do your part in avoiding your asthma triggers.

Pharmaceuticals may use this information to come up with a new medicine aimed at blocking chitinase enzyme activity to block the inflammatory response and prevent mold and fungus from causing or triggering asthma.

1 comment:

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