(CBS) - Pediatric scientists have unearthed a possible link between a certain gene and asthma in children. The finding could mean better treatments for kids who suffer from the disease and, eventually, a cure.
Nationwide, 10 percent of kids have asthma but in urban areas its more than double the national rate - 20 to 30 percent of kids suffer from it in some places.
Scientists already know environmental factors - like pollution and allergens - increase the risk of asthma. The study shows genetics also play a role. The finding could help doctors single out new treatments.
Dr. Deepa Rastogi, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital at Montefiore, says it's important because we clearly are identifying a different pathway than environmental exposure and triggering of inflammation.
While the results may not change the treatment for children just yet, it could lead to improvements down the road.