Majority of Children Affected by Allergy-Related Diseases

Eczema, asthma, and rhinitis occur in 58 percent of children; 7.5 percent have comorbidities

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- A majority of children have one or more allergy-related diseases, including eczema, asthma, and rhinitis, according to research published in the April issue of Allergy.

Natalia Ballardini, M.D., of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study that involved surveying the parents of 2,916 children at age 1, 2, 4, 8, and 12 regarding eczema, asthma, and rhinitis development during childhood.

At 12 years, the researchers found that 58 percent of the children had experienced eczema, asthma, and/or rhinitis at some point during their childhood, and 7.5 percent of the children had at least two of these allergy-related diseases. Children of parents with allergies were more likely to have any allergy-related disease (adjusted odds ratio, 1.76) as well as comorbidity and more persistent disease. Throughout childhood, there was an increased risk associated with male gender. There were no gender differences in disease persistence, and minor differences were found for comorbidity.

"We found that allergy-related diseases affect a majority of the pediatric population during the first 12 years of life and that the development of eczema, asthma, and rhinitis is a dynamic process: both new cases and remission are common throughout childhood," the authors write.

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