Poor Diabetes Control in Kids, Linked To Asthma

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Diabetes among kids have been long linked to a higher risk of suffering from asthma. Furthermore, a recent study suggested that those kids suffering from both diseases tend to have more difficulties in controlling their blood sugar level at a normal range.

According to the American National Institute of Health, asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways – the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs – to become sore and swollen. In the United States, about 20 million people have asthma. Nearly 9 million of them are children. Children have smaller airways than adults, which makes asthma especially serious for them. Children with asthma may experience wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and trouble breathing, especially early in the morning or at night.

In a study conducted among about 2,000 youngsters with diabetes aged 3 to 21 years old, it was found out that 11% had asthma. This is higher than the rate of asthma among children and adults of the same age group which is recorded at 9% percent.

Looking at a more specific correlation, researchers found out that among kids who have the Type 2 Diabetes, the classification of the disease which associated with adults and obesity, 16% had asthma. The rate is higher compared to those with Type 1 Diabetes, the juvenile form, wherein 10% of kids with this type have asthma.

Says the World Health Organization, Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. The cause of type 1 diabetes is not known and it is not preventable with current knowledge. Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset) results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world, and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.

The reason for such increased risk is still unclear. However, this increased rate for kids with Type 2 Diabetes in suffering from asthma may be attributed to obesity, according to the lead researcher Mary Helen Black, also Head of the Department of Research and Evaluation at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “It’s pretty well-established that there’s an obesity-asthma connection,” she said in an interview. Black also said that there may be a possible real biological connection between asthma and diabetes in kids. She also considered that it will be tougher for kids to manage both conditions effectively.

According to the researchers, when the kids are on their asthma medication, blood control was greater. Poor blood sugar was observed in below 5% of kids taking asthma drugs called leukotriene modifiers. This was compared to about 30% of kids with diabetes who were not treated by any asthma medication.

The researchers said that it is unclear whether it is the effect of asthma medications that controlled the blood sugar levels of the kids, or it is just that kids can better control their diabetes when they have their asthma attacks under control.

 

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