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08 Mar 2016
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Asthma can be explained as condition of lungs that may lead to inflammation or swell ing and soreness of airways. [1] Asthma and similar allergic ailments are substantially increasing in an alarming rate globally. Westernized countries and countries moving to a westernized lifestyle have greater incidence of asthma when compared with less advanced countries. Though latest scientific studies show the occurrence of asthma is a peak in western world, yet there are no explanations available to date for the same. Scientific studies reveal that the varying situations as well as the behavioural patterns connected with the so called “westernized” lifestyle lead to increase in the frequency of asthmatic attacks amongst general population. For instance, due to upgrading in hygiene and control over infectious diseases, it is hypothesized that diminutive experience contagious agents during infancy may possibly lead to the development of asthma and allergies. Accordingly, few numerous studies have publicized that experience of markers linked with contagious and infectious agents like endotoxins, farm animals and pets can slow up the possibility of such ailments. Furthermore, some other attributes of the westernized lifestyle like Obesity and experience of allergens have been associated with the development of such disorders. Additionally, dietary changes which have happened over the periods amongst all age brackets and in special conditions (pregnancy etc.), is the one other significant facets of modern lifestyle which may have contributed to these conditions. [2]

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Causes of Asthma

Some of risk factors attributed by present lifestyle and ultimately causing Asthma are:

- Obesity

- Smoking

- Diet and Nutrition

- Exercise(exercise induced asthma)

- Medications

- Occupational Exposure

- Stress

- Environmental Exposures: Indoor and Outdoor Air pollutants; Allergens

[2,3 and 7]


Obesity or excessive weight is among the major lifestyle diseases. A large amount of scientific data reveals that Weight problems are a causative factor for Asthma. The data is collected from adults, adolescents and kids worldwide and specify an increased relative risk of asthma from the obese and overweight and express that Obesity predates Asthma. The mechanical foundation this correlation is just not yet established. However, according to scientists viewpoint Obesity and Asthma share common etiology like common genetic predisposition, similar outcomes of in utero conditions, or that obesity and asthma are mutually the consequence of certain other predisposing factors for example physical activity or diet.[4]

Moreover, scientific studies shows that obese patients have more severe asthma in comparison with normal weight individuals and the like severity can be due to greater respiratory inflammation, that is certainly, airway obstruction or it's also due to compact connection between asthma drugs or medications in Obese patients. [5]

Such patients are advised by physicians to check out a strict weight management schedule composed of daily exercise and morning walk to be able to have a healthier lifestyle.


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Latest research on enhanced possibility of asthma after the commencement of habitual smoking all the way through upbringing and teenage years corresponds with the substantial data showing that active smoking leads to unpleasant and severe respiratory health effects in adolescents and children after a brief time period of constant smoking. The fact teenagers who smoke constantly convey more severe symptoms and lower lung function within the first few years of commencement continues to be acknowledged by researchers around the world. In addition to this, studies have proved that regular or continuous smoking raises the possibility of asthma and also other respiratory disorders which significant long-term effects of smoking aren't just restricted with those having a history of smoking for several years.

Moreover, recent medical trial studies have established that paternal and maternal smoking (pregnant and breast-feeding mothers that are regular smokers) can lead to undesired health consequences on new-borns, childrens and teenagers, making their body susceptible to asthma and other severe respiratory tractinfections.

Efficient tobacco control endeavours emphasizing the control and prevention of smoking in children, teenagers, teenagers, women of childbearing age and pregnant women are immediately required to prevent the severe instances of asthma in these people.[6]

Diet and Nutrition

Scientific studies have established that a diet rich in marine fatty acids, peculiarly fish oil, can have valuable effects on inflammatory conditions like asthma.Also, berry eating can lead remarkable improvement in signs and symptoms of asthma.Though, the influence of dietary salt lowering of the treatment of asthma isn't yet established by researchers, nonetheless it has been concluded that there's significant improvement in pulmonary function having a low-salt diet. [7]

Exercise Induced Asthma

Exercise-induced asthma is understood to be a state in which smooth muscles of the lungs starts contracting as a result of physical action. Because of this, breathing becomes hard along with a person physical performance declines inevitably. Exercise-induced asthma is a lot more common in athletes who perform rigorous exercises as part of their daily routine. The most typical symptoms of Exercise-induced asthma are: wheezing, difficulty in breathing, chest tightness, coughing and problems with prolonged sessions of exercise.

The less frequent symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, being unable to exercise in cold, chest congestion/discomfort, frequent colds, dry throat and headache

Proper warm -up or relax may prevent or reduce the occurrence of Exercise Induced Asthma.Also, as environmental factors including cold, dry air, thin air, airborne allergens and food allergens like egg whites, peanuts, almonds or bananas, couple of hours before exercise can trigger an Asthma attack, it is highly better to perform exercises in finest circumstances or conditions characterised by warm, humid weather; negligible a higher level pollutants or allergens; and a moderate altitude. [8]


Substantial proof augmented or increased airway resistance is observed in normal individuals and asthamatic patients using medicines like propranolol and aspirin.Similar evidence continues to be seen in Asthmatic patients using Timolol eye drops for glaucoma.

A few other drugs which are seen to provoke Asthma attack are: Cocaine, Dipyridimole, Hydrocortisone, Interleukin-2, Methylphenidate, Nitrofurantoin, Sulfasalazine, Protamine and Vinca alkaloids.

These drugs should be avoided as much as possible and cannot be taken without prior approval or consultation of Physicians.[9]

Occupational Exposure

Present-day Working environment act as an add on to occupational respiratory diseases like Asthma due to inhalation of both organic and inorganic substances. Globally, Asthma could be the prime diseases caused as a result of inhalation of organic agents. [7]

Commonly related occupations and exposures are: car painting (isocyanates), hairdressing (various chemicals), domestic and commercial cleaning(cleaning solutions), medical researchers(latex) and baking(flour dust), amongst a great many others.[2]

Avoidance of such substances, particularly for people working in industrialized environment is difficult.[7] Thus, private and public sectors should implicate certain health policies, compensative and safety measures for the well being of their laboured employees, contributing to the complete wellness of their companies.


 Stressful life circumstances advances the symptoms of asthma. Studies have demonstrated the fact that concomitant parental as well as disputes enhances the potential for Asthma at an early age, at a much higher rate in comparison to other risk factors like parental asthma, education and passive smoking.[10].

Moreover, recent clinical findings have enumerated a range of emotional states as probable precursors of asthmatic symptoms. It absolutely was confirmed that distinct affective states like sadness or depression are predominantly in connection with an exasperation of sign and symptoms in people who have asthma. Correspondingly, latest many studies have revealed that variant emotional and affective states such as anxiety, anger, and joy are similarly effective at eliciting increases in airway resistance in asthmatics. [11]

Environmental Exposures

Outdoor and indoor Air Pollutants:

Indoor Air Pollutants, basically indoor allergens, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, indoor generated particles and co can influence the the respiratory system and can cause or aggravate the symptoms of asthma.

Similarly, long-term experience of combustion related fine particulate polluting of the environment is another significant environmental risk factor for respiratory diseases like asthma.

Here again, relative efforts are essental to government and local public generally to combat the inside and outside pollution by adopting fitness. [7]


Both indoor allergens like mites, some moulds, animal danders and insects and outdoor allergens like pollens and fungal moulds are found to exacerbate the symptoms of asthma along with other respiratory disorders. Physicians recommend proper adoption of preventive control measures by average person to diminish the harmful affects of allergens on sensitive lungs.[7]


Asthma serves as a condition of lungs that may lead to inflammation or swelling and soreness of air passages. Obesity, Smoking, Diet and Nutrition, Exercise (exercise induced asthma), Medications, Occupational Exposure, Stress and Environmental Exposures: Outdoor and indoor Air pollutants; Allergens are one of the major risk factors attributed by current modernized lifestyle which are responsible for causing or alleviating the outward symptoms of Asthma. By adopting living, consisting of proper diet and resisting to harmful habits of smoking and employ of undesired medications will help in combating the severe signs and symptoms of Asthma. Furthermore, a leading role is required by government and also sectors as well as by way of a common man to relieve the detrimental effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution as well as the occupational and emotional stress; on sensitized lungs of a normal human-being.

- K.B.Gupta, ManishVerma: Nutrition and Asthma, Lung India 2007; 24:105-114
- Padmaja Subbarao, Piush J.Mandhane, Malcolm R.Sears: Asthma: epidemiology, etilogy and risk factors,CMAJ.2009 October 27;181(9):E181-E190.PMCID:PMC2764772
- Karin Yeatts, Peter Sly, Stephanie Shore, Scott Weiss, Fernando Martinez, Andrew Geller, Philip Bromberg, Paul Enright, Hillel Koren, David Weissman and MaryJane Selgrade: A short Targeted Review of Susceptibility Factors, Environmental Exposures, Asthma Incidence, and Recommendations for Future Asthma Incidence Research. Environment Health Perspect.2006 April;114(4):634-640.PMCID:PMC1440793
- Shore SA,Johnston RA: Obesity and Asthma. Pharmacol Ther.2006 Apr;110(1):83-102.Epub 2005 Nov 17
- Gary J.Stadtmauer, Y.Claire Wang: Resolve to Control Asthma First, Then Focus on Weight Loss. Allergy & Asthma Issues: Winter 2009
- Frank d.Gilliland, Talat Islam, Kiros Berhane, W.James Gauderman, Rob McConell, Edward Avol and John M.Peters: Regular Smoking and Asthma Incidence in Adolescents. American Journal of Respiratory and important Care Medicine. Vol 174,pp.194-1100,(2006)
- Jon Heck and Kaley Abato: Exercise-Induced Asthma:Recognizing and Handling the Problem
- METIN OZKAN,RAED A.DWEIK,MUZAFFAR AHMAD: Drug-induced lung disease
- Kilpelainen M, Koskenvuo M, Helenius H, Terho EO: Stressful life events promote the symbol of asthma and atopic diseases. Clin Exp Allergy.2002.Feb:32(2):256-63
- Thomas Ritz, Andrew Steptoe, Stephen DeWilde and Marco Coasta: Emotions and Stress Increase Respiratory Resistance in Asthma: Psychosomatic Medicine 62:401-412(2000)


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