Study: Most kids have allergy-related diseases

April 4, 2012

A just-published Swedish study states that a majority of children have one or more allergy-related conditions, including eczema, asthma and rhinitis.

Stockholm - A just-published Swedish study states that a majority of children have one or more allergy-related conditions, including eczema, asthma and rhinitis.

HealthDay News reports that 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 ages 1, 2, 4, 8 and 12 regarding development of eczema, asthma and rhinitis. Investigators found that at 12 years, 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 as well as comorbidity and more persistent disease.

Researchers found an increased risk associated with the male gender throughout childhood, but no gender differences were found in disease persistence and only minor differences for comorbidity.

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

According to the study abstract, the findings “indicate that allergy-related diseases should be neither seen nor studied as isolated entities.”

The study appears in the April issue of Allergy.

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