Asthma in Adults may be Predicted by Eczema as Children
Asthma may be predicted by one's childhood incidence of eczema, researchers in Australia have found. Lead author Pamela Martin, a doctoral student at the Murdoch Children Research Institute, part of the University of Melbourne, analyzed survey and skin prick test data collected in the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study, which involved 1,400 participants. The subjects were initially examined regarding their allergies and childhood environment in 1968 at the age of seven and were followed up in 2004, at 44. Published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the study estimated that up to 30 percent of current allergic asthma could be attributed to a history of childhood eczema and hay fever. "In this study we see that childhood eczema, particularly when hay fever also occurs, is a very strong predictor of who will suffer from allergic asthma in adult life," Martin said in a statement. "The implications of this study are that prevention and rigorous treatment of childhood eczema and hay fever may prevent the persistence and development of asthma," reports UPI.