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Atopy is strongly and inversely related to family size, a pattern which is plausibly assumed to reflect a protective effect of early infection. The current study tested this hypothesis by case-referent analysis of an adult cohort in the UK. The study established that atopy, defined by prick tests to common aeroallergens, was less common among those from(More)
BACKGROUND For many years it has been assumed that the risk of childhood respiratory allergies is related to allergen exposures in early life. There are, however, few prospective data in support. We aimed to examine this relationship in a representative cohort of children born in Ashford, Kent (UK). METHODS 625 children (94% of those eligible) were(More)
BACKGROUND It is frequently asserted that antibiotic prescriptions in childhood are associated with the development of allergic disease, especially asthma. A study was undertaken to establish the direction of this relationship. METHODS A retrospective cohort study of 746 adults was performed in three general practices. Antibiotic prescriptions in the(More)
BACKGROUND Despite scarce scientific evidence, current feeding guidelines recommend delayed introduction of solids for the prevention of asthma and allergy. AIMS To explore whether late introduction of solids is protective against the development of asthma, eczema, and atopy. METHODS A total of 642 children were recruited before birth and followed to(More)
A multicentre, prospective cohort study of childhood asthma was established in three European countries; the purpose of the project is the examination of factors which modify the relationship between allergen exposure in infant life and subsequent atopy and asthma. Dust samples were collected from the homes of 643 infants in a single town in the UK (the(More)
BACKGROUND It is suggested that the inverse relationship between allergic disease and family size reflects reduced exposure to early life infections, and that antibiotic treatment in childhood diminishes any protective effect of such infection. METHODS A birth cohort study was undertaken in 642 children recruited before birth and seen annually until the(More)
BACKGROUND Defining childhood asthma varies considerably, and the extent of agreement between various measures is not clearly understood in the absence of a recognized 'gold standard'. We compared different definitions of childhood asthma, identified characteristics that might have influenced their accuracy and an acquisition of an 'asthma' label in wheezy(More)
BACKGROUND Although atopic eczema (AE) is a common disease, little is known about its causes. OBJECTIVES To investigate the role of dietary and environmental factors associated with the development of AE by the age of 2 years. METHODS A cohort of children was recruited before birth from a consecutive series of newly pregnant mothers presenting for(More)
BACKGROUND The relationship between exposure to indoor aeroallergens in early life and subsequent eczema is unclear. We have previously failed to show any significant associations between early life exposure to house dust mite and cat fur allergens and either sensitization to these allergens or wheeze. We have also previously reported a lower prevalence of(More)
BACKGROUND Inverse associations between allergic disease and sibship have been consistently described and are frequently explained by purported lower rates of early infection among children from small families. Alternative explanations include the possibility that pregnancy itself determines maternal atopic status. OBJECTIVE To test the hypothesis that(More)