Children’s allergies linked with parents

New research published online in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has suggested that children are more likely to have an allergy if his/her parent of the same sex has it.

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 10th August 2012

A girl may be more likely to have asthma if her mother suffers from it, and a boy if his father does.  The research suggests that the same may be true of eczema and other childhood allergies, and was conducted by Professor Hasan Arshad, a consultant in allergy and immunology at Southampton General Hospital, and colleagues.


The researchers used data from the Isle of Wight (IOW) Birth Cohort Study, which collected information on 1,500 children who were followed up to the age of 18. They were examined at ages 1, 2, 4, 10 and 18.  Questionnaires were completed, and skin prick tests to 14 common food and airborne allergens were undertaken.


The study  found that maternal asthma was tied to asthma in girls but not to boys, and paternal asthma was linked to asthma in boys but not to girls.  The same pattern was found to exist for eczema.  The researchers explain that:

“Similar trends were observed when the effect of maternal and paternal allergic disease was assessed for childhood atopy and when maternal total Immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels were related to total IgE levels in children at ages 10 and 18 years.”

Source:  Medical News Today, Child’s allergy risk higher if same sex parent has it, 10th August 2012

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