Asthma is more likely to develop in children who were smaller than the average foetus size during the tenth week of their mother’s pregnancy, new research suggests.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have identified a correlation between the growth rate of unborn children and the chances of them having childhood asthma, eczema and hay fever.
Some 1,500 pregnant women took part in the study. They were measured during their first and second trimesters, at 10 weeks, then at 20 weeks gestation, and their children were assessed when they were 10 years old.
The study found that the children who were 5mm or 10% smaller than the average foetus when they were just 10-week-old embryos were more likely to have asthma aged five and 10.
It was also discovered that an unborn baby whose growth rate in the womb was smaller than average at the 10-week period of the pregnancy and beyond was five times more likely to develop childhood asthma.