Febrile and gynecological infections during pregnancy are associated with a greater risk of childhood eczema
Article first published online: 1 DEC 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Special Issue: Asthma in childhood GUEST EDITOR Gunilla Hedlin • Stockholm, Sweden
Volume 25, Issue 2, pages 159–165, March 2014
How to Cite
Febrile and gynecological infections during pregnancy are associated with a greater risk of childhood eczema. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2014: 25: 159–165., , , , .
- Issue published online: 16 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 1 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 OCT 2013
- local National Institutes of Health (Azienda Sanitaria Locale Mantova)
- Province of Mantua
- fetal exposures;
- prenatal exposures;
Mounting evidence suggests that fetal exposures may exert long-term effects on the function of the skin and of the immune system. This study aimed at assessing whether maternal complications during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of eczema during childhood.
The associations between hypertension/preeclampsia, febrile infections, or gynecological infections during pregnancy and the occurrence of childhood eczema were studied in a population (n = 3907) of children, aged 3–14 yrs, living in Italy. Their parents filled in a standardized questionnaire about the presence of children's eczema and the events that occurred during pregnancy, birth, and the first year of the child's life.
7.7%, 3.8%, and 6.1% of the pregnancies were complicated by hypertension/preeclampsia, febrile infections, and gynecological infections, respectively. The prevalence of eczema was significantly higher in children born to mothers who had experienced febrile (35.5% vs. 22.0%; p < 0.001) or gynecological infections (35.3% vs. 21.6%; p < 0.001) compared with those born to mothers who had not suffered from that specific pregnancy complication, while hypertension/preeclampsia was not significantly associated with childhood eczema. After adjusting for potential confounders, the risk of eczema was significantly higher in children born to mothers who reported febrile infections during the 1st trimester (OR: 2.32; 95%CI: 1.11–4.82) and gynecological infections during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy (OR: 2.73; 95%CI:1.73–4.31).
Fetal exposure to febrile and gynecological infections might enhance the risk of eczema in the offspring, especially when occurring in specific trimesters of pregnancy. These findings suggest that febrile and gynecological infections might interfere with fetal and perinatal programming of the immune function and skin through different mechanisms.