A child is more likely to have a particular allergy, such as asthma or eczema, if their same-sex parent has it, according to new research.
The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, aimed to monitor the development of asthma and allergic diseases to identify any relevant genetic or environmental risk factors.
The researchers used data collected from 1,500 children in the UK. The participants were examined at the ages of 1, 2, 4, 10 and 18.Information was also collected on parents.
The results showed that maternal asthma was linked to girls, but not to boys and paternal asthma was linked to boys but not girls. They also found the same pattern for eczema and other allergies.
The authors suggest the findings may change the way childhood allergies are assessed and prevented. For instance, in diagnosis, it may be useful to find out the allergy history of the mother for girl patients and of the father for boy patients.