Genetics and Asthma

Research shows that asthma runs in families. When one or both parents have asthma, a child is more likely to develop it, too. This is known as genetic susceptibility.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)1

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Asthma is a what is known as a "complex" heritable disease. This means that there are a number of genes that contribute toward a person's susceptibility to a disease, and in the case of asthma, chromosomes 5, 6, 11, 14, and 12 have all been implicated. The relative roles of these genes in asthma predisposition are not clear, but one of the most promising sites for investigation is on chromosome 5. Although a gene for asthma from this site has not yet been specifically identified, it is known that this region is rich in genes coding for key molecules in the inflammatory response seen in asthma, including cytokines, growth factors, and growth factor receptors.

Source: NCBI, Genes and Disease (NCBI/NIH)2

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A child who has parents or other close relatives with allergies or asthma, is more likely to develop an allergic condition, which could be asthma.

The chance is increased if both parents are affected.

Source: New Zealand Health3

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  1. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): 2006/ July/ docs/ 01features_01.htm
  2. Source: NCBI, Genes and Disease (NCBI/NIH): books/ NBK22181/ 
  3. Source: New Zealand Health: your-health/ conditions-and-treatments/ diseases-and-illnesses/ asthma

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