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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Clinical and Translational Allergy 1/2017

Early childhood risk factors for rhinoconjunctivitis in adolescence: a prospective birth cohort study

Clinical and Translational Allergy > Ausgabe 1/2017
Elisabeth Soegaard Christiansen, Henrik Fomsgaard Kjaer, Esben Eller, Carsten Bindslev-Jensen, Arne Høst, Charlotte Gotthard Mortz, Susanne Halken



Rhinoconjunctivitis is a global health problem and one of the most common chronic conditions in children. Development of rhinoconjunctivitis depends on both genetic and environmental factors. Many studies have investigated rhinoconjunctivitis, but only few studies have evaluated the risk factors for non-allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in children finding family history of atopic diseases and gender to be of importance. The aim of this study was to investigate possible risk factors in early life for rhinoconjunctivitis, allergic as well as non-allergic, in adolescence.


The children in the Danish Allergy Research Center cohort were examined eight times from birth to 14 years of age. Visits included questionnaire-based interview, clinical examination, skin prick test and specific IgE. We used univariate and multivariate logistic regression to investigate the relationship between early-life risk factors and the development of rhinoconjunctivitis, allergic as well as non-allergic, in adolescence.


Follow-up rate at 14-years was 66.2%. The prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis was 32.8%. Family history of atopic diseases (aOR 2.25), atopic dermatitis (aOR 3.24), food allergy (aOR 3.89), early sensitization to inhalant and food allergens (aOR 2.92 and aOR 3.13) and male gender (aOR 1.90) were associated with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis but not with non-allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Early environmental tobacco exposure was inversely associated with rhinoconjunctivitis (aOR 0.42), allergic (aOR 0.47) as well as non-allergic (aOR 0.43).


Different patterns of associations were revealed when stratifying rhinoconjunctivitis in allergic and non-allergic suggesting that allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and non-allergic-rhinoconjunctivitis are different phenotypes.
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