Prevention of Atopic Diseases in High Risk Babies (Long-Term Follow-Up)
Several studies have demonstrated that dietary and environmental manipulations in the first months of life have a protective effect on the development of allergic diseases in babies "at risk" of atopy. We have prospectively followed up 174 "high risk" infants who underwent dietary and environmental manipulations, such as exclusive breast-feeding for the first 6 months of life, supplemented if necessary with soy-protein formula (Isomil, Abbott), delayed weaning beyond the 6th month of life, and rigorous environmental manipulations for the elimination of house-dust mite and passive smoking. The low prevalence of atopic disease (10%) and the trivial course of the allergic manifestations in this "at risk" population confirm the effectiveness of this preventive program. Moreover, this study demonstrates that the incidence of atopic dermatitis peaks at 6 months, and decreases until it disappears. Food allergy appears only at 6 months and may disappear later. The incidence of asthma peaks at 6 and 36 months and decreases at low levels in the intervals. Allergic rhinitis develops not sooner than 36 months.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1993-05-01
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