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Allergy. 2015 Jul;70(7):873-6. doi: 10.1111/all.12609. Epub 2015 Mar 25.

Parental allergic disease before and after child birth poses similar risk for childhood allergies.

Author information

Institute of Epidemiology I, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany.
Department of Pediatrics, Research Institute, Marien-Hospital Wesel, Wesel, Germany.
Department of Environmental Immunology/Core Facility Studies, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany.
IUF - Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Department of Pediatrics, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Division of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital, Munich, Germany.


Whether the strength of associations between parental and child allergic diseases differs by whether the first onset of the parental disease is before or after a child's birth has never been examined and is the aim of this study. Yearly childhood asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema diagnoses were longitudinally regressed against the effect of a parental disease (pre- vs post-child birth) of the same type separately for each parent using generalized estimation equations. Both a maternal and paternal history of asthma were associated with childhood asthma prevalence up to 15 years of age. Effect estimates were similar for parental asthma with first onset before and after the birth of the child. The results for allergic rhinitis and eczema were less consistent. Parental allergic diseases with first onsets before and after the birth of a child both pose risks to childhood allergic disease in the offspring, especially for asthma.


asthma; cohort; eczema; family history; rhinitis

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