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Gene clues for child asthma found

AFP-JIJI

A gene scorecard may one day help predict which youngsters are likely to grow out of childhood asthma and which will have the disease in adulthood, a study said on Thursday.

Asthma is one of the most common disorders among children in developed countries and is spreading fast in emerging economies.

Roughly half of children with asthma will emerge from it by the time they become young adults — but no one knows how to determine who will be the lucky ones.

The new research, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine Journal, marks a first step toward a predictive test.

Researchers in the United States put together a risk score derived from 15 genetic variants that are closely associated with asthma.

They tested this model on data from a highly regarded long-running study in New Zealand.

Those whose DNA carried most risk variants were more than a third likelier to develop asthma earlier in life and to have asthma that persisted into adulthood than those at low genetic risk.