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Reducing Your Risk of Asthma

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The more you know about your health, the better prepared you are to make informed healthcare decisions. Our health library gives you the information you need to take charge of your health.

Not all risk factors for asthma can be prevented. However, environmental factors can be changed.

Current evidence for asthma prevention supports eliminating maternal smoking during pregnancy. There is also concern that if pregnant mothers breathe second-hand smoke, their children may also be at increased risk for asthma.

There is some evidence that reducing exposure to common allergy producing substances during pregnancy and during the first 2 years of life might reduce the risk of developing asthma.

While we do not know for sure that taking acetaminophen during pregnancy increases asthma risk, pregnant women should discuss this and other risk factors with their doctors.

Revision Information

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  • Asthma in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated September 7, 2012. Accessed September 13, 2012.

  • Asthma exacerbation in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 27, 2012. Accessed September 13, 2012.

  • Liu T, Valdez R, Yoon PW, Crocker D, Moonesinghe R, Khoury MJ. The association between family history of asthma and the prevalence of asthma among US adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004. Genet Med. 2009;11(5):323-328.

  • Mapp CE, Boschetto P, Maestrelli P, Fabbri LM. Occupational asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med . 2005;172(3):280-305.

  • March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/ . Accessed July 2008.

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ . Accessed July 2008.

  • Sleiman PM, Hakonarson H. Recent advances in the genetics and genomics of asthma and related traits. Curr Opin Pediatr . 2010;22(3):307-312.

  • Xepapadaki P, Manios Y, Liarigkovinos T, Grammatikaki E, Douladiris N, Kortsalioudaki C, Papadopoulos NG. Association of passive exposure of pregnant women to environmental tobacco smoke with asthma symptoms in children. Pediatr Allergy Immunol . 2009;20(5):423-429.