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Autumn Babies Face Greater Risk of Asthma

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Babies born four months before the cold and flu season have a 30 percent higher chance of developing asthma, according to a study released Friday.

Researchers found that the babies in the study had a higher risk of bronchiolitis, which is a lung infection usually caused by respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. Autumn babies were at the highest risk of contracting the disease.

"What we were able to show was the timing of birth and the risk of developing asthma moves in time almost to the day with the peak of these viral infections each winter," said Dr. Tina Hartert, director of the center for Asthma Research at Vanderbilt University.

Nearly all children are infected with RSV between the ages of 3 and 6 months. The virus normally clears up on its own without serious complications.

Researchers compared the medical records of 95,000 Tennessee infants and their mothers for this survey.

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