Early pollen and spore exposure may lead to wheezing

By Tom Nordlie • Published: June 18th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

We’ve all heard about astrology, which claims that a person’s birth date can dictate how their life will turn out.

Sounds a little farfetched, right?

Well, a recent study in the journal Thorax suggests one aspect of life really is influenced by birth timing.

It seems that babies born when there’s a large amount of airborne pollen or fungal spores are more likely to develop respiratory problems in the first two years of life.

In the study, researchers analyzed data from more than five-hundred children in California’s Salinas Valley.

The kids were mainly from low-income Mexican immigrant families. They were monitored from birth to age twenty-four months.

Copious information was gathered about their living conditions, plus yearround measurements of outdoor pollen and spore levels.

Overall, about seven percent of them developed wheezing by age two.

Children born during fall, when spore concentrations were heaviest, were about three times as likely to develop early wheezing, compared with those born in summer.

Children born during spring, which is heavy pollen season, were about one-and-a-half times as likely to develop wheezing, compared with those born in summer.

Other factors linked to wheezing included poverty, exposure to tobacco smoke and suffering lower respiratory tract infections.

Fortunately, early wheezing doesn’t usually lead to asthma.

Nonetheless, if you’re planning a family, you might want to aim for a summer birth.

Babies need all the advantages they can get.

And ensuring that your child’s first breaths are clean, sweet air is a great way to start.