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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557


FERRAZ, Erica et al. Atopy risk factors at birth and in adulthood. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2011, vol.87, n.4, pp.336-342. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To study the association between atopy and variables such as weight, length, and socioeconomic level at birth and in young adulthood. METHODS: A total of 2,063 subjects were investigated in a prospective birth cohort study of individuals born in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, in 1978/1979, and examined at the age of 23-25 years. Skin prick tests (SPT) for eight common allergens in Brazil were performed. Subjects with a wheal reaction > 3 mm to one or more of the eight allergens tested were considered to be atopic. We used the log-binomial model (generalized linear model) in order to assess the association between atopy and birth or adult variables. RESULTS: The prevalence of positive SPT was 47.6%. Male gender was associated with an increased risk of atopy (relative risk [RR] = 1.18; 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.07-1.30). Low level of schooling was a protective factor against atopy, with a RR = 0.74; 95%CI 0.62-0.89. Living with a smoker in childhood was also associated with lower risk of atopy (RR = 0.87; 95%CI 0.79-0.96). Birth weight, length and order, maternal age, and intrauterine growth restriction were not associated with positive SPT. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that male gender was associated with an increased risk of atopy. Low socioeconomic status, assessed by low level of schooling, was a protective factor against atopy. These data agree with the hygiene hypothesis.

Keywords : Allergens; allergy; risk factors; skin test.

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