Article Title

Childhood eczema and asthma incidence and persistence: A cohort study from childhood to middle age

Abstract

Background: The association between eczema and asthma is well documented, but the temporal sequence of this association has not been closely examined.

Objectives: To examine the association between childhood eczema and asthma incidence from preadolescence to middle age, and between childhood eczema and asthma persisting to middle age. A further aim was to examine any effect modification by nonallergic childhood exposures on the association between childhood eczema and both childhood asthma and later life incident asthma.

Methods: Data were gathered from the 1968, 1974, and 2004 surveys of the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study. Multivariable logistic regression examined the association between childhood eczema and childhood asthma. Cox regression examined the association between childhood eczema and asthma incidence in preadolescence, adolescence, and adult life. Binomial regression examined the association between childhood eczema and childhood asthma persisting to age 44 years.

Results: Childhood eczema was significantly associated with childhood asthma and with incident asthma in preadolescence (hazard ratio [HR], 1.70; 95% CI, 1.05-2.75), adolescence (HR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.33-3.46), and adult life (HR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.28-2.09). Although childhood eczema was significantly associated with asthma persisting from childhood to middle age (relative risk, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.17-2.04), this association was no longer evident when adjusted for allergic rhinitis.

Conclusion: Childhood eczema increased the likelihood of childhood asthma, of new-onset asthma in later life and of asthma persisting into middle age.

Keywords

peer-reviewed

 

Link to Publisher Version (DOI)

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2008.05.018