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Allergies likely to develop in the womb

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Women who smoke, inhale pollen, dust mites and dog dander or possibly eat the wrong kind of food during pregnancy might be putting their children at greater risk of getting allergies or asthma.

And exposure to allergens in the womb might be a more significant factor than exposure after birth in deciding whether youngsters develop the conditions later in childhood, according to a study published by a Staffordshire doctor yesterday.Dr Hasan Arshad, of the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, measured the levels of antibodies to allergens found in the umbilical cord blood of 1,300 babies born on the Isle of Wight between 1989 and 1990.He then checked up on their progress at the ages of one, two, four and ten.He found that at four, one in five children had become sensitised to allergens and at ten the figure was more than one in four (27 per cent).The children who had high levels of the antibodies in their umbilical cord blood at birth were around twice as likely to have become sensitised.One in ten of the children had been diagnosed with asthma by the time they were one to two years old and by the age of four, one in seven of them were asthmatic.But by ten, almost 13 per cent of the children had asthma.High levels of the antibodies were not linked with the development of asthma up to the age of four, but children with high levels in their umbilical cord blood were around 66 per cent more likely to have a diagnosis of asthma by the age of ten, suggesting a late onset type of asthma, say the authors.Children who were not sensitised to allergens at any age were more than three times as likely to be diagnosed with asthma by the age of ten if they had high levels of the antibodies in their umbilical cord blood.(Source: Birmingham Post, Oct 2004)

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Posted On: 29 October, 2004
Modified On: 6 December, 2013


Created by: myVMC