Asthma genes identified in children

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A gene analysis of over one thousand Danish children with serious asthma attacks revealed genes which put them at a particularly high risk of developing the disease. One of these, CDHR3, was previously not associated with asthma. "Nature Genetics" published the study.

An international research team under Danish leadership analysed the genes of 1,200 children aged between 2 and 6 who had been hospitalised several times because of serious asthma attacks, and compared them with 2,500 health individuals. Amongst others, they identified CDHR3, which plays a decisive role in the development of the disease - particularly during the very early years of childhood.

Genes play a far greater role in children with asthma than in adults, explained study author, Klaus Bonnelykke from the University Clinic Copenhagen. Asthma is not just a single disease - it has many sub-types. To make progress regarding a successful, individualised treatment it was important to understand and classify the disease.