Risk factors for allergic diseases in school-aged children

Risk factors for allergic diseases in school-aged children
Issue Date
Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition, v.42, no.9, pp.1387 - 1394
Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases during childhood. While the prevalence of allergic disease in children is increasing dramatically, few studies have evaluated the risk and preventive factors related to this health condition, especially in South Korea. The purpose of this case-control study was to evaluate independent determinants of allergic disease, and to examine whether it is associated with growth and other health conditions in childhood. The current study included 209 cases and 311 age and sex-matched controls (fifth and sixth graders) residing in Daegu, South Korea. Environmental data was collected, including child and family histories of allergies, birth information, and reaction to weaning foods during infancy. In addition, current dietary habits (assessed by 2 day-24 hr food records), health conditions, and anthropometric data were obtained through questionnaires and student health check-ups at the school. Based on chi-square tests, cases had a significantly higher prevalence of having a disease at birth, an allergic reaction to weaning foods, frequent hospital visits, and frequent experiences of the common cold and digestive diseases. In addition, significantly more mothers had a higher education in the cases compared to controls. Based on multivariable conditional logistic regression analysis, factors significantly associated with greater odds for having allergies were parental (OR=21.42) and fraternal (OR=14.40) histories of allergies. The anthropometric measures showed that cases tended to be shorter in height and lighter in weight than the controls, but these differences were not statistically significant. These findings may indicate that current nutrient intakes may not be the only critical factor associated with delayed growth delay in the allergic group. A well-planned, large cohort study is warranted to confirm our findings in the future. ? 2013 by The Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition. All rights reserved.
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