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