Risk analysis of early childhood eczema

Hans Bisgaard, Liselotte B. Halkjaer, Rikke Hinge, Charlotte Giwercman, Colin Palmer, Lori Silveira, Matthew Strand

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    75 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The increasing prevalence of eczema suggests the role of environmental factors triggering a genetic predisposition.

    Objective: To analyze the effect of environmental exposures in early life and genetic predisposition on the development of eczema before age 3 years.

    Methods: The Copenhagen Study on Asthma in Childhood is a prospective clinical study of a birth cohort of 411 children born of mothers with asthma. Eczema was diagnosed, treated, and monitored at the clinical research unit, and complete follow-up for the first 3 years of life was available for 356 children. Risk assessments included filaggrin loss-of-function mutation; parent's atopic disease; sex; social status; previous deliveries; third trimester complications and exposures; anthropometrics at birth; month of birth; duration solely breast-fed; introduction of egg, cow's milk, and fish; time spent in day care; cat and dog at home; feather pillow; nicotine in infant's hair; and temperature and humidity in bedroom.

    Results: Eczema developed in 43.5% of the infants. Filaggrin mutation (odds ratio [OR], 3.20; 95% CI, 1.46-7.02; P = .004), mother's eczema (OR, 2.80; 95% CI, 1.70-4.63; P < .0001), and father's allergic rhinitis (OR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.09-3.33; P = .02) were directly associated with risk of eczema. Risk of eczema was significantly reduced by birth length (OR per cm increase, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.78-0.97; P = .02), increased bedroom temperature (probably inverse causality; OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.66-0.97; P = .02), and dog living in the home (OR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.23-0.87; P = .02).

    Conclusions: Dog exposure reduced the risk of eczema, whereas short length at birth, filaggrin mutation, and parental atopy increased the risk of eczema by age 3 years. (J Allergy Clin Immunol 2009;123:1355-60.)

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1355-1360
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


    • Length at birth
    • breast-feeding
    • dog
    • eczema
    • filaggrin
    • risk factor
    • ASTHMA
    • COHORT
    • BIRTH
    • LIFE


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