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Early life exposures and risk of atopy among Danish children

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A large proportion of atopy develops in childhood and early life exposures are suspected to play a considerable role in the inception. The aim of this study was to examine the association between early life exposures and development of atopic disease in children. We performed a case–cohort study of a random population-based sample of children (n = 480) 7–17 years of age, living in urban Copenhagen, Denmark. Information on breast-feeding, supplementation, wheezy bronchitis, use of antibiotics, and parental smoking during pregnancy and in early life was obtained retrospectively by questionnaire. Skin test reactivity to 10 common aeroallergens was measured using standard techniques. Atopic disease was defined as a history of hay fever and/or asthma concomitantly with a positive skin-prick test. Logistic regression showed that parental atopy (odds ratio [OR] = 1.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12, 3.49; p = 0.019) and wheezy bronchitis before the age of 2 years (OR = 3.13; 95% CI, 1.63, 6.01; p < 0.001) were predictors of atopic disease, the latter especially when predisposition to atopy was present (OR = 8.63; 95% CI, 3.64, 20.44; p < 0.001). Duration of breast-feeding was longer in subjects with atopic heredity (p = 0.017), whereas smoking exposure during pregnancy (p = 0.019) and in the 1st year of life (p = 0.018) was less prevalent. Wheezy bronchitis was equally frequent among subjects with and without atopic predisposition (p = 0.893). Wheezy bronchitis before the age of 2 years seems to be independent of familial predisposition to atopic disease and significantly increases the likelihood for development of atopy in genetically susceptible individuals. Parental knowledge of atopic heredity significantly influences smoking and breast-feeding habits.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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