Children whose fathers have a history of asthma are at greater risk of developing airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). To assess the potential father-child asthma connection, the researchers reviewed data on 1041 children between the ages of 5 and 12 years enrolled in the Childhood Asthma Management Program. None of the participants had severe asthma.
In the 6 months prior to the 4-year study, which compared the long-term benefits of 3 inhaler asthma treatments, all of the children had manifested at least 1 asthma characteristic. To measure AHR severity, the children completed a series of tests that calculated the presence of methacholine in their bodies. The children's parents completed family history questionnaires, and the children were tested twice a year to assess the amount of air entering and leaving the lungs. The asthma- AHR parental connection appears to follow the paternal lineage.