HealthDay News — Eczema, asthma and rhinitis affect more than 50% of children aged 12 years or younger, results of a longitudinal population-based cohort study indicate.

“Eczema, asthma and rhinitis develop dynamically throughout childhood, and allergic comorbidity is common. These findings indicate that allergy-related diseases should be neither seen nor studied as isolated entities,” Natalia Ballardini, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and colleagues reported in Allergy.

They administered questionnaires to the parents of 2,916 children to assess the development and comorbidity of the three diseases at ages 1, 2, 4, 8 and 12 years.

Continue Reading

By age 12 years, 58% of participants had eczema, asthma and/or rhinitis at some point, and 7.5% of children had been affected by at least two allergy-related diseases, the researchers found. Comorbidities increased with age.

Parental allergy status correlated with more persistent disease and comorbidity, and the children of parents with allergies  were more likely to have elevated risk for developing an allergy-related disease by the age of 12 years (adjusted odds ratio=1.76).

Male gender was associated with an increased risk for developing allergy-related diseases throughout childood, but gender differences did not otherwise significantly affect disease persistence or comorbidity, the researchers found.

Ballardini N et al. Allergy. 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2012.02786.x.