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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.

References:

American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org . Accessed July 2008.

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.



Last reviewed September 2014 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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