Asthma is the most common chronic illness of childhood and a common reason for missed school days. Asthma is more common in boys than in girls. But after puberty asthma is more common in females.
A number of factors may increase your chances of developing asthma. These include:
– Living in a large urban area, especially the inner city, which may increase exposure to environmental pollutants
– Exposure to secondhand smoke
– Exposure to occupational triggers, such as chemicals used in farming and hairdressing, and in paint, steel, plastics, and electronics manufacturing
– Having one or both parents with asthma
– Respiratory infections in childhood
– Low birth weight
– Obesity
– Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)