Allergy risk in children increases if parent of the same sex has allergies

A study has shown that maternal asthma is associated with asthma in girls but not boys, paternal asthma is associated with asthma in boys but not girls, maternal eczema is associated with an increased risk of eczema in girls, and paternal eczema does the same for boys but not girls.

The Isle of Wight birth cohort (involving 1456 children) has been examined at 1, 2, 4, 10 and 18 years of age, with skin prick tests at 4, 10 and 18, and a total immunoglobulin E (IgE) measurement taken at 10 and 18 years. The history of parental atopy was assessed after the birth of the child, as was maternal IgE levels.

This study shows a sex-dependent association of parental allergic conditions with childhood allergies, which has implications for childhood allergy prediction and prevention.

Source: The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

First published in August 2012

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