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Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: Are wheezing, asthma and eczema in children associated with mother's health during pregnancy? Evidence from an Australian birth cohort
Authors: Ahmad, Kabir
Kabir, Enamul
Ormsby, Gail M
Khanam, Rasheda 
Publication Date: 9-Nov-2021
Pages: 1-19
Keywords: Respiratory disease
Allergic disease
Maternal health in pregnancy
Maternal medications
Pre-pregnancy obesity
Smoking during pregnancy
Abstract: Background This study investigated the prevalence of wheezing, asthma, and eczema among Australian children using longitudinal data from birth to 15 years of age. This study also examined the association between maternal health status during pregnancy and their offspring’s respiratory and allergic morbidities using sex-segregated data. Methods This study used data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) where approximately 5000 children of a birth cohort across Australia were surveyed in 2004. These children were followed biennially in eight waves up to their age of 15 years until 2018. The status of the children’s wheezing, asthma, and eczema were reported by the mothers upon doctors’ diagnosis (for asthma) or self-assessment (for wheezing or eczema). Binomial logistic regression models were used to analyse associations between maternal health during pregnancy and their children’s health outcomes. Results Asthma prevalence among 0–1-year aged children was 11.7%, increased to 15.4% when the children were 10–11 years old, and then decreased to 13.6% when they were 14–15 years old. Wheezing and eczema were most prevalent when the children were 2–3 years old (26.0 and 17.8% respectively) and were least prevalent when the children were 14–15 years old (7.3 and 9.5% respectively). Maternal asthma, smoking during pregnancy, and pre-pregnancy obesity were significantly associated with an increased risk of wheezing and asthma in Australian children. Childhood eczema was associated only with maternal asthma. These associations were stronger among male children up to age 10–11 and during adolescence (12–15 years of age), female children were more prone to wheezing, asthma, and eczema. Conclusion This is a comprehensive longitudinal study of Australian children (0–15 years of age) to assess the prevalence (with sex-specific differences) of wheezing, asthma and eczema as well as the association between these respiratory and allergic morbidities and maternal health during pregnancy. The study findings suggest that careful medical and obstetric monitoring, improved specific age-sex wise risk factor prevention for children and health promotion for pregnant women would help protect child health.
DOI: 10.1186/s13690-021-00718-w
Keywords: Allergic disease; Asthma; Children’s respiratory disease; Eczema; Maternal body mass index; Maternal health in pregnancy; Maternal medications; Maternal smoking; Wheezing
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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