Parental Atopy Associated with Increased Risk of Pediatric AD

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Though the association between pediatric and parental AD has been detailed in previous literature, differing odds ratios for AD have been recorded throughout the years.

Parental atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma were associated with an increased risk of objectively diagnosed AD in children, according to new data from a contemporary cohort study.

Previous research has suggested an association between pediatric and parental AD, yet differing odds ratios for AD have been recorded throughout the years.

For this study, an investigative team led by Cathal O’Connor, MD, of Pediatrics and Child Health at Cork University, Ireland, assessed the influence of maternal and paternal atopic disease on AD outcomes in children featured in a large observational birth cohort.

The Methods

O’Connor and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of the Cork Babies After Scope: Evaluating the Longitudinal Impact Using Neurological and Nutritional Endoints (BASELINE) Birth Cohort study, which featured a myriad of environmental factors experienced during pregnancy that were believed to effect childhood health and development.

From August 2009 to October 2011, the BASELINE study recruited first-born term babies in Cork Ireland, all of whom received skin barrier assessments at birth and at 2, 6, 12, and 24 months.

In addition to this assessment, parents were tasked with completing questionnaires that gauged parental atopy through questions like “DO or DID you ever suffer from eczema (atopic dermatitis)?”, as well as pediatric atopy with a question regarding whether or not their child had an “itchy rash on the face or in the folds of the arms or legs”.

The Findings

Data and AD status were available for 1505 children at 6, 12, and 24 months through the BASELINE study.

Investigators observed that AD prevalence was highest at 6 months (18.6%), but tapered off at 12 months (15.2%) and 24 months (16.5%). In both the univariable and multivariable analysis, which featured 1296 children, parental atopic disease was associate with AD in childhood.

Regarding the multivariable analysis, the odds of AD in the first 2 years were higher for infants of parents with a history of atopic disease. Regarding maternal AD, adjusted odds ratios following a multivariable analysis were 1.57 (1.09–2.25) at 6 months and 1.66 (1.12–2.46) at 12 months.

O’Connor and colleagues noted a trend toward early intervention for the prevention of pediatric AD, adding that enhanced early identification had become “increasingly important” in recent years.

“This study from a longitudinal birth cohort adds to the knowledge base relating to parental atopy and risk of AD, showing that both maternal and paternal histories of AD and asthma are associated with increased risk of AD in offspring in early life,” they concluded.

The study, “Parental atopy and risk of atopic dermatitis in the first 2 years of life in the BASELINE birth cohort study,” was published online in Pediatric Dermatology.