The more highly educated the parents, the more likely the children are to have asthma, wheeze and eczema

Researchers from the Department of Preventative Medicine and Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan, have been looking at the relationship between socio-economic status and allergic disorders, because evidence until now has been inconsistent.

The researchers looked at employment factors in mothers, household income, parental levels of education and the risk of allergy in Japanese children aged four and a half years.

The 480 mother child pairs were assessed, with definitions of wheeze and eczema symptoms based on criteria in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Data on self-reported doctor-diagnosed asthma and atopic eczema were available.

Children whose mothers had more than 15 years of education had a higher incidence of wheeze and doctor-diagnosed asthma than children whose mothers had less than 13 years education. Over fifteen years of paternal education was associated with an increased risk of eczema in children, but not of doctor-diagnosed atopic eczema. The other factors measured were not associated with any outcomes.

Source: The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

First published in June 2012

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