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Study Says Asthma May be Several Ailments

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NEW YORK, Jan 08, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Researchers at the National Jewish Medical Center in New York say asthma could be several diseases instead of a single ailment.

People who develop asthma as children may have a different disease than those who develop it as an adult, according to a study in the January issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Its findings add to the growing body of evidence that asthma is not a single disease, but a group of syndromes with different origins and biological characteristics, the National Jewish News reported.

The research team, led by Dr. Sally Wenzel, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center, also found that the absence or presence of inflammatory cells, called eosinophils, helped distinguish differences among asthma patients.

More than 75 percent of patients who developed asthma before the age of 12 reported that they wheezed "most or all of the time" when exposed to dust or pollens, while less than 40 percent of patients whose asthma developed after 12 did so.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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