The link between parental allergy and offspring allergic and nonallergic rhinitis

Authors

  • M. Westman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Division of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of ENT diseases, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
    • Correspondence

      Marit Westman, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Division of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Karolinska Institutet, B53, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, Huddinge, SE 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.

      Tel.: +46706513052

      Fax: +4687747907

      E-mail: marit.westman@ki.se

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  • I. Kull,

    1. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Education and Clinical Science, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    3. Sachs’ Children's Hospital, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • T. Lind,

    1. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Centre for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • E. Melén,

    1. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Sachs’ Children's Hospital, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • P. Stjärne,

    1. Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Division of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of ENT diseases, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • E. Toskala,

    1. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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  • M. Wickman,

    1. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. Sachs’ Children's Hospital, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • A. Bergström

    1. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Edited by: Stephan Weidinger

Abstract

Background

Parental allergy-related disease increases the risk for rhinitis, but it remains unknown how different phenotypes of parental allergy affect this risk. The aim of this study was to investigate how parental hay fever, asthma, and eczema affect the risk of allergic rhinitis (AR) and nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) at 8 years of age.

Methods

Information on 2413 children from a population-based birth cohort was used combining questionnaire data and IgE to inhalant allergens. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association between parental allergy-related disease and AR and NAR. In addition, cluster analysis was used to search for latent phenotypes of heredity likely to be associated with AR and NAR.

Results

At age 8 years, 13.8% of the children had AR, while 6.4% had NAR. Parental isolated hay fever increased the odds of AR (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.6–3.2), whereas isolated asthma or eczema did not. The odds of NAR increased when one parent had two or more allergy-related diseases. In the cluster analysis, the highest proportion of AR, 37.5%, was seen in a cluster where both parents had hay fever and pollen allergy and that of NAR, 11.0%, in a cluster where one parent had hay fever, pollen allergy, and eczema.

Conclusions

Parental allergy-related disease may be an important risk factor for NAR as well as AR, and the risk is comparable for maternal and paternal allergy. Parental hay fever seems to be the dominating hereditary risk factor for AR.

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