Childhood Eczema, Rhinitis Predict Adult Asthma

The conditions predict atopic asthma but are not associated with nonatopic asthma

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Children who have eczema and rhinitis may be more susceptible to atopic asthma in adulthood, according to research published online April 4 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Pamela E. Martin, of Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Parkville, Australia, and colleagues followed up with 1,320 adult subjects (aged 44) who were enrolled as children in the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study to assess whether childhood eczema and rhinitis are risk factors for certain types of adult asthma.

The researchers found no association between the childhood conditions and nonatopic adult asthma; however, combined eczema and rhinitis in childhood was predictive of atopic asthma by middle age (adjusted multinomial odds ratio [aMOR], 6.3) and the progression of childhood asthma to atopic asthma in adulthood (aMOR, 11.7). Separately, childhood eczema alone increased the risk for new onset atopic asthma, while rhinitis predicted childhood asthma persisting to atopic asthma.

"Our findings have important clinical implications for the potential prevention of asthma in adult life through efforts to prevent or ameliorate eczema and rhinitis in childhood," the authors conclude.

One author disclosed receiving research support from the Australian Egg Corporation. Another author disclosed financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline and Reckitts Benckiser.

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