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Maternal Allergy, Asthma Traits Up Child Risk in Early Years

By the time the child is 6 years old, mother's and father's history present similar risk

couple with a baby

MONDAY, July 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In early life, maternal history of allergies and asthma confers a stronger effect on a child's risk for developing the same traits compared with the father's history, according to a study published online July 7 in Clinical & Experimental Allergy.

Ann-Marie Malby Schoos, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues investigated parent-specific effects on risk for developing allergic sensitization and asthma in childhood using data from 685 parent-child trios participating in the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood 2010.

The researchers found that maternal elevated specific immunoglobulin (Ig)E increased the child's risk for elevated specific IgE from 0 to 6 years compared with paternal IgE (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] for mother, 1.49 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 1.09 to 2.03; P = 0.01]; aOR for father, 1.32 [95 percent CI, 0.96 to 1.82; P = 0.08]). There was also an association seen between maternal elevated total IgE and increased child's risk for elevated total IgE (aOR, 4.32; 95 percent CI, 1.51 to 10.8; P < 0.01), and a trend was seen for paternal total IgE (aOR, 2.01; 95 percent CI, 0.76 to 4.82; P = 0.13). The maternal effect was strongest in early life, whereas at age 6 years, the parental effects were comparable. A similar pattern was seen for the child's risk for asthma.

"This suggests that maternal nongenetic factors seem to confer an added disease risk to the child, particularly in early life," the authors write.

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