Prenatal and neonatal factors involved in the development of childhood allergic diseases in Guangzhou primary and middle school students.BMC Pediatr 2019; 19(1):479BPed
Allergic diseases, such as asthma, dermatitis, rhinitis, and eczema, are highly prevalent in Chinese school children. Environmental factors, including air pollution and automobile exhaust, play an important role in the etiology of these diseases. However, prenatal and neonatal factors, such as gender, maternal diseases during pregnancy, and premature birth, may also be associated with allergic disease occurrence. The objective of this study was to explore prenatal and neonatal factors that are involved in the development of allergic diseases among primary and middle school students in Guangzhou, China.
A cross-sectional survey was launched by the Health Promotion Centre for Primary and Secondary Schools of the Guangzhou Municipality in October 2017. All primary and middle school students in Guangzhou were notified to participate in the questionnaire online under the direction of their parents. The results of the physical examination were reported by the schools' medical department. The results of the questionnaire were collected and analyzed by the researchers. The prevalence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic dermatitis, and eczema was identified.
Based on reported 183,449 questionnaires and medical records, the data indicate that the sex, birth weight, neonatal feeding type, delivery mode, and students' father smoking status were significantly associated with the prevalence of all four allergic diseases in primary and middle school children. In further stratified analyses of the children with normal birth weight (2500-4000 g) and without any maternal diseases during pregnancy, the factors of male sex, high birth weight, cesarean delivery, and father smoking status all increased the risk of asthma, dermatitis, rhinitis, and eczema. Also, unlike exclusive breastfeeding, breast plus formula feeding increased these risks, but pure formula feeding had the opposite effect.
Prenatal and neonatal factors, including male sex, high birth weight, cesarean delivery, only child, and father smoking status are associated with the risks of allergic diseases in school children.