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A new study looking at the development of asthma in young children is being undertaken on the Island.

The ‘Breathing Together’ Study led by the Study Team at The David Hide Asthma & Allergy Centre at St. Mary’s Hospital invites all women who are currently pregnant or have just had a child to participate.

Around 1 in 3 pre-school children often develop a noisy, whistling, sound or better known as a ‘wheeze’ when they have a cold. Some children are barely affected however for others it can lead to them having to use an inhaler to support their breathing and others can end up having to go to hospital. A number of those children can go on to have lifelong problems with asthma while others outgrow their breathing issue around the time they start school.

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Prof Roberts, Professor and Consultant Paediatrician in allergy and respiratory medicine is leading the Isle of Wight part of this important study and is keen for as many women and children as possible to participate. This will help them to better understand the reasons why some children develop asthma and others don’t.

Speaking about the research, Prof Roberts, said:

“Wheeze in pre-school children is one of the few common problems in children that we really do not understand. Even when nobody in the family has asthma, a small child may start wheezing, so we are hoping that everyone will help us with this study. This new knowledge will hopefully lead to the development of new approaches to preventing breathing problems and treating them in small children.”

Researchers at the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Centre are joining colleagues from across the UK to investigate this problem. The Breathing Together Study will follow a group of 1,000 new-born children until they are 3 years of age. The study will look to see if differences in the way the lining of their lungs work, how their immune system functions and what bugs live on their skin causes them to develop wheeze.

Participating in the research will involve the study team collecting information about the child as well as collect some samples in the first 10 days after they are born and again when they are 1 year and 3-years-old.  During the study the Study Team will contact the family once a month by email to check on the child. If the child develops a wheeze at 6 months of age the study team would like to collect some additional information and samples. If a child were to develop wheeze or have a positive allergy test, additional advice can be provided. If visiting the Centre then parking and some travel costs can be reimbursed.

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The study team is currently recruiting. For more information contact the David Hide Asthma & Allergy Research Centre on 01983 530786, 07710 229794 or email [email protected] .

More information about the Breathing Together Study which is being funded by the Welcome Trust can be found at

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