Health and Wellbeing Tutorial II
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Factors to Consider


What do you know about the AETIOLOGY of asthma?

Why do you think Aaron has asthma?

Did he catch it?

Did he have it from birth; was it passed on to him from his mother and father?

Your Answer:
Correct Answer:

Aetiology: The study of the causes. For example, of a disorder.

The word "aetiology" is mainly used in medicine, where it is the science that deals with the causes or origin of disease, the factors which produce or predispose toward a certain disease or disorder.

It is important as a knowledge of the causes can help us “guess” what is wrong with  patient, predict who is going to get a disease and educate people as to what they can do to prevent them getting the disease i.e. health promotion.


There is no single cause of asthma, but certain things may increase the likelihood of developing it. These include genetics and the environment.

Who is at risk of developing asthma?

Things known to increase the likelihood of developing asthma include:

  • a family history of asthma or other related allergic conditions (known as atopic conditions), such as eczema, food allergy or hay fever 
  • developing another condition such as a food allergy
  • having bronchiolitis as a child (a common lung infection among children) 
  • being exposed to tobacco smoke as a child, particularly if your mother smoked during pregnancy 
  • being born prematurely (especially if you needed a ventilator) 
  • being born with a low birth weight (less than 2kg or 4.5 pounds)


  Think about which of these might be relevant to Aaron from the information we know about him?

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