THURSDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Children who were at about 11 weeks gestational age during springtime allergy season may be at increased risk for sensitivity to food allergies, according to research published online Oct. 19 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Kaisa Pyrhönen, M.D., of the South Karelia District of Social and Health Services in Lappeenranta, Finland, and colleagues collected food allergy data on nearly 6,000 children born in Finland between 2001 and 2006 looking for a connection between the season of birth or of the early phase of gestation and food allergies.
The researchers found the highest incidence of positive food allergy tests in children born in October/November (10 percent) and lowest in those born in June/July (5 percent). This corresponded with those children having been in their 11th week of gestation in April/May (11 percent), during which time concentrations of birch and alder pollen are at their peak, and lowest for those reaching the 11th week of gestation in December/January (6 percent).
"Children having their early gestational period in the pollen season for broad-leafed trees are more prone to sensitization to food allergens than other children," the authors write.