This article is part of MPR‘s coverage of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual meeting, taking place in San Francisco, California. Our staff will report on medical research related to asthma, allergy, and other respiratory conditions, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from AAAAI 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO — Gestational duration and Cesarean sections (C-section) were associated with comorbid atopic dermatitis and food allergies in children, respectively, according to research presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting, held February 22-25, 2019, in San Francisco, California.

Researchers analyzed the link between gestational factors and delivery variables and food allergen profiles and food allergy-related comorbidities. Data on 195 children with food allergies were collected using questionnaires about demographics, duration of pregnancy, mode of delivery, age of food allergy onset, and types of food allergies.

A shorter duration of pregnancy was significantly associated with atopic dermatitis (P=.01). Children with atopic dermatitis had a mean gestational age of 37.5 weeks (SD±3.6 weeks) and children without atopic dermatitis had a mean gestational age of 38.2 weeks (SD±2.8 weeks). A C-section was associated with both milk allergy (P=.04) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (P=.001). In children with a milk allergy, 26.8% were delivered by C-section vs 19.6% without a milk allergy and, 25.4% of the children with gastroesophageal reflux disease were also delivered by C-section.

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Further research is needed to determine whether gestational factors and delivery variables affect the food allergy profile and atopic dermatitis, or whether there is an underlying cause that affects gestation time and delivery mode as well as a predisposition to food allergies in these children.

The researchers concluded that “C-section was associated with milk allergy and [gastroesophageal reflux disease], while duration of pregnancy was linked to comorbid [atopic dermatitis].”

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Andy-Nweye AB, Jois SK, Jungles KN, Tobin MC, Mahdavinia M. Mode of delivery and duration of pregnancy is associated with allergy to milk and atopic dermatitis in children. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting 2019; February 22-25, 2019; San Francisco, CA. Abstract 433.