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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Month of birth and allergic disease at the age of 10*

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  • *

    The Munich Survey on Asthma and Allergy was supported by the ‘Bayerische Staatsministerium für Landesentwicklung und Umweltfragen’ and carried out in cooperation with the ‘Gesundheitsamt der Stadt München’.

Dr M. Wjst, von Haunersche Kinderklinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Lindwurmstrasse 4, W-8000 München 2, Germany.

Summary

The relationship between month of birth and asthma, hay fever and skin sensitization to mixed grass pollen was analysed in a population-based cross-sectional study in Munich and Bavaria 1989–1990 of 6535 10-year-old children. The relative risk of developing atopic disease is calculated by comparing the prevalence in a single month with the prevalence of all other months. A slightly increased risk of developing allergic skin sensitization for grass pollen (n= 1128) was found for February (odds ratio, 1.3, 95% confidence interval 1.0–1.6), May (1.4, 1.1–1.8) and June (1.3, 1.0–1.6). For hay fever (n= 379) an increase was found for May (1.5, 1.0–2.1) and for allergic asthma (n= 271) for August (1.4, 1.0–2.1). A protective effect was observed for certain months of birth; September for allergic sensitization (0.8, 0.6–1.0), October for asthma (0.6, 0.3–1.0) and November for hay fever (0.6, 0.3–0.9). The occurrence of hay fever and positive prick test is explained by the seasonal variation of atmospheric grass pollen and the peak in August of asthmatic patients by house dust. Date of birth appears therefore to slightly influence the risk of developing an allergic sensitization and allergic diseases.

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