The link between parental allergy and offspring allergic and nonallergic rhinitis
- Edited by: Stephan Weidinger
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.
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.
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.
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.