Linn Moore Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Determining how pregnancy impacts children’s asthma symptoms

A University of Alberta research project is examining how pregnancy may impact children’s asthma symptoms.

“Asthma is a very common illness in children and is often hard to control, which makes asthma dangerous,” says Linn Moore, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. “Children who have problems controlling their breathing are also more likely to have lung disease when they grow up.”

Moore, alongside supervisor Maria B. Ospina, is trying to determine if adverse maternal, perinatal and environmental factors—like where you live—affect how easy or hard it is to control asthma symptoms in children.

Moore notes recent evidence shows that being able to control asthma in the two years after diagnosis in preschoolers is associated with subsequent remission.

“Proper asthma control is critical to preventing future complications and hospitalizations,” explains Moore. “It can also potentially modify disease evolution—like lung disease—and minimize long-term harm to the lungs.”

Although there have been several perinatal and environmental factors that have been associated with childhood asthma, there has been nearly no research effort dedicated to exploring their role in asthma control in preschool-aged children until now.

Moore’s population-level study will use data from the multidisciplinary Developmental, Maternal, and Perinatal Epidemiology and Translational Research Evidence (DMETRE) research group.

She added, with one in seven Canadian children being affected by asthma, the potential impact this research brings for children and their families is huge.

“What we learn will inform precision health initiatives targeted at improving asthma management, and potentially prevent long-term progressive debilitating conditions like COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, in adult life,” says Moore.

Moore is supervised by Maria B. Ospina. Her fellowship has been funded by the generosity of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation through the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute.