Does suspected or diagnosed infant allergy predict adult allergy?

Anxious parents have many concerns about the future health of their atopic infants. The aim of this study was to assess whether suspected and diagnosed allergy in infancy coudl accurately predict the likelihood of allergy and asthma in adolescence.

Researchers chose families expecting their first baby and making their first visit to a maternity health care clinic in 1986 for the study population in a random sample. There were 1278 eligible study families and information was provided about the children at the ages of 9 and 18 months and 3, 5, 12, 15 and 18 years by health care professionals, parents, and adolescents (themselves).

At the age of 9 months, significantly more allergy was suspected than was diagnosed but by the age of five there were no suspected allergies but around 9% of the children has actually been diagnosed with an allergy.During the adolescence self-reported allergy increased steadily, whereas diagnosed asthma remained at approximately 5%.

The researchers found that suspected allergy at the age of 9 or 18 months and at the 5 years did not predict allergy in adolescence. However, compared with non-allergic children, children with definite allergy at the age of 5 were over 8 times more likely to have allergy and nearly 7 times more likely to have asthma in adolescence.

Minna Kaila , Päivi Rautava , Doris Holmberg-Marttila , Tero Vahlberg , Minna Aromaa and Matti Sillanpää BMC Pediatrics 2009, 9:46doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-46

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First Published in2009


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