Paracetamol in early infancy: the risk of childhood allergy and asthma

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Abstract Aim: 

We investigated whether paracetamol exposure in pregnancy and until 6 months of age was associated with allergic disease in school children. Methods: 

In a prospective birth cohort study in Oslo, 1016 children included at birth were re-investigated at 10 years. Paracetamol exposure in pregnancy and until 6 months of age was registered. Outcomes at 10 years included current asthma, a history of asthma, allergic sensitization and allergic rhinitis. Results: 

Maternal paracetamol use in the first trimester increased the risk for allergic rhinitis at 10 years OR (odds ratio) (95%CI) 2.30 (1.06, 4.97) in boys and girls. Paracetamol use until 6 months in girls increased the risk for allergic sensitization OR 2.20 (1.15, 4.22) and a history of asthma OR 2.20 (1.13, 4.30). The ORs for allergic sensitization and history of asthma in girls remained unchanged adjusting for upper or lower airway infections during the first 6 months of life. Conclusion: 

Paracetamol exposure in pregnancy was associated with allergic rhinitis, but not with asthma or allergic sensitization at 10 years of age. Paracetamol used until 6 months of age was associated with allergic sensitization and having a history of asthma in girls at 10 years of age, even considering concomitant airway infections.

Keywords: Allergic sensitization; Allergy; Asthma; Gender; Paracetamol

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: .Department of Paediatrics, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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