WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Research is now proposing that genetic risk assessments could be used to help preview which children with asthma are likely to grow out of the condition or rather to have it for their whole lives.

Data from a 40 year study shows that kids with asthma and higher risk scores encompassing multiple genetic variants linked to asthma were 36% more likely to develop chronic asthma rather than kids with a lower score.

With all the children with asthma, about 1/2 of them will grow out of it by the time they reach adolescence or adulthood. As of right now, there is no type of testing that can predict which children will grow out of asthma and which will not.

Recent genome-wide association studies have identified several variants which carry a small increased risk of asthma. The current study was to discover whether these known genetic risks are related to the onset, persistence, and severity of asthma.

By constructing a genetic risk score based on 15 irregularities and then testing the affiliations between the scores and asthmatic symptoms. Out of 880 participants in the study, researchers concluded that children with higher risk scores had a greater likelihood of developing asthma than those with a lower risk score.

Also, children with a higher risk score were more likely to develop atopic asthma, debilitated lung function, and to miss more school and to be hospitalized because of asthma more frequently. The value of the risk score is also not associated with family history.

"Although our study revealed that genetic risks can help to predict which childhood-onset asthma cases remit and which because life-course-persistent, genetic risk prediction for asthma is still in its infancy," explains leader of the research, Daniel Belsky from Duke University Medical Center.

Read or Share this story: