Researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine found an unexpected link between one particular maternal infection and an increased risk of childhood asthma. The study results were published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal.

About 1,400 pregnant women were followed throughout pregnancy and for the first six years of the resulting child’s life. Records of maternal infections were pulled from chart reviews and interviews. Asthma diagnosis was determined by physician intervention/diagnosis with symptoms by the age of six. Researchers noted more than 600 women involved with the study suffered maternal infections.

Conclusion: Urinary tract infections in pregnant women significantly increased the risk of childhood asthma in offspring. Children born to women experiencing urinary tract infections during pregnancy should be watched closely for asthma symptoms for at least the first six years of life.

Collier CH, Risnes K, Norwitz ER, Bracken MB, Illuzzi JL. Maternal Infection in Pregnancy and Risk of Asthma in Offspring. Matern Child Health J. 2013 Jan 22.