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Predicting the development of early skin test sensitization in offspring of parents with asthma

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Abstract Background 

The direct causal relationship between skin sensitization and asthma are controversial until now and remains to be further researched. Our aim is to analyse the role of parental asthma in the development of skin sensitization in offspring. Materials and methods 

This study was performed among nuclear families (determined by index of asthma patients), and subjects included parents and offspring. Parents were subdivided into four phenotypes on the basis of skin sensitization (SPT+ or SPT–) and asthma status (AST+ or AST–) and offspring were subdivided into three age groups: 3–8, 9–14 and 15–20 years. The main tests included a standard questionnaire and skin prick tests. Results 

Offspring's skin sensitization differed among parental phenotypes at all ages (P < 0·05). In the SPT+/AST–, SPT–/AST+ and SPT+/AST+ groups, offspring were significantly more likely to be allergic than the ones in SPT–/AST– group at 3–8 years. Offspring with at least one parent with asthma were significantly more likely to have positive skin prick test response than those with non-asthmatic parents at age 3–8 years and 9–14 years, but not at 15–20 years among offspring with allergic parents. Results were independent of asthma in the children and of the characteristics of atopy in the parents. Conclusion 

Parent asthma history is an independent risk factor for allergic sensitization in their offspring in a Chinese population.

Eur J Clin Invest 2007; 37 (6): 522–527

Keywords: Asthma; nuclear family; skin prick test

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 2: Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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