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Researchers from the Mount Sinai Hospital/Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that substances present in cooked meats are linked to increased wheezing in children. The researchers, who published their study in Thorax, described pro-inflammatory compounds known as advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) as an early dietary risk factor that may have broad clinical and public health implications when it comes to preventing inflammatory respiratory disease. In the United States, childhood asthma prevalence has risen over the last few decades. The current study researchers found that dietary habits earlier in life may be associated with wheezing, which could eventually lead to asthma. The team looked at nearly 4,400 children aged between 2 and 17 from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The program is designed to evaluate the health and nutritional status of American adults and children through interviews and physical examinations. The researchers evaluated associations between dietary AGE, meat consumption frequencies, and respiratory symptoms. They found that the higher the intake of AGE – the higher was the risk of wheezing, including wheezing that disrupted sleep and exercise. Similarly, increased intake of non-seafood meats was associated with increased wheezing that disrupted sleep and wheezing that required prescription medication. Lead author Dr. Jing Gennir Wanh said, “We found that higher consumption of dietary AGEs, which are largely derived from intake of non-seafood meats, was associated with increased risk of wheezing in children, regardless of overall diet quality or an established diagnosis of asthma.” Senior author Dr. Sonali Bose said, “Research identifying dietary factors that influence respiratory symptoms in children is important, as these risks are potentially modifiable and can help guide health recommendations.” “Our findings will hopefully inform future longitudinal studies to further investigate whether these specific dietary components play a role in childhood airways disease such as asthma,” she added. The article appeared on Science Daily.

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