Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New insights into allergy-related disorders in children

Date:
January 31, 2010
Source:
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Summary:
Allergies and asthma are a continuing health problem in most developed countries, but just how do these ailments develop over the course of a childhood? In a population-based study designed to help answer this question, researchers in Norway found that 40 per cent -- or two of five -- of nearly 5,000 two-year-olds had at least one reported allergy-related disorder.

Allergies in children. Not all children who are born with allergies will continue to have allergies into adulthood. Determining which children will be afflicted as adults remains a continuing challenge.
Credit: NTNU Info/Jens Søraa

Allergies and asthma are a continuing health problem in most developed countries, but just how do these ailments develop over the course of a childhood? In a population-based study designed to help answer this question, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) found that 40 per cent -- or two of five -- of nearly 5,000 two-year-olds had at least one reported allergy-related disorder.

The most common symptom was wheezing, which was reported in 26 per cent of all children in the study, says Ingeborg Smidesang, a PhD candidate in the university's Faculty of Medicine, and the primary author of the study.

Researchers are careful to point out that there is no guarantee that children who wheeze at two years old will grow up with asthma. "One of the challenges here is that we don't know which wheezers will develop asthma," Smidesang says.

The findings are among the first to illustrate the scope of allergy-related problems in such a young group of children, and the challenges that these problems pose for both families and for public health systems overall. "If you think about something like moderate atopic eczema, which can involve quite a few doctor's visits, and a lot of work on the part of parents, it is quite a big deal," she says. "This can be quite a burden."

The study has been published in an online version of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, a peer-reviewed academic journal. Among the findings reported is that fully 21 per cent of the 5000 children in the study, or about 1000 children, had been tested for allergies. Roughly 60 per cent of these 1000 children were reported by their parents to have had a positive allergy test. However, when researchers randomly selected 390 children for allergy testing, only eight per cent had a positive test. The allergy-related disorders that were studied were eczema, asthma, asthma-like symptoms and hay fever. Researchers found that boys were more likely than girls to have an allergy-related disorder, Smidesang said.

Allergy-related disorders vary widely within countries and between countries. For example, children in northern Norway are more likely than children in southern Norway to have atopic dermatitis, Smidesang said, probably because the winters are longer in the north than in the south. Another comparison between Sweden and the UK in 2002-2003 showed that asthma symptoms in children were roughly 10 per cent in Sweden compared to 21 per cent in the UK. Researchers can make conjectures about what causes these variations, but the bottom line is that medical researchers really don't understand what causes children to develop allergies and what can be done to prevent them.

Smidesang's study is a part of a larger effort called PACT (Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim), which began in 2000 to try to better understand how allergy-related symptoms develop in children and to investigate the effectiveness of risk-factor intervention, including increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake, reducing parental smoking and indoor dampness. A control group of 14 000 children, from which the current study is drawn, was established to track fluctuations in risk factor levels and to provide comparison data. A second group of roughly 3000 children was recruited for a proactive intervention effort. The programme started during pregnancy and continued until the children reached the age of 2. The 390 children who were randomly selected for skin prick allergy testing will be followed up when they are 6 years old.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ingeborg Smidesang, Marit Saunes, Ola Storrø, Torbjørn Øien, Turid Lingaas Holmen, Roar Johnsen and Anne Hildur Henriksen. Allergy related disorders among 2-yrs olds in a general population. The PACT Study Allergy related disorders in 2-yrs olds. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2009.00954.x

Cite This Page:

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "New insights into allergy-related disorders in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125150457.htm>.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). (2010, January 31). New insights into allergy-related disorders in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125150457.htm
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "New insights into allergy-related disorders in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125150457.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins