Early-Onset Eczema is Associated with Increased Milk Sensitization and Risk of Rhinitis and Asthma in Early Childhood
Saturday, March 3, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Jing Long Huang, MD, Chih-Yung Chiu, Kuo-Wei Yeh, MD FAAAAI
RATIONALE: Atopic eczema and food allergy are common during the first 2 years of life. The relationship between eczema onset after infancy and allergen sensitizationand atopic diseases was investigated.

METHODS: We investigated 186 children followed up regularly for 4 years in a birth cohort study. Early-onset eczema was defined to occur symptoms before age of 2. Specific IgE antibodies against food (egg white, milk, and wheat) and inhalant allergens (mite) were measured at 6 months as well as 1, 1.5, 2, 3 and 4 years of age. The associations between onsets of eczema and atopic indices were assessed.

RESULTS: A significantly higher prevalence of sensitization to food, especially milk was found in children with early-onset eczema compared to children without eczema at age 1, 1.5, 2, 3 and 4. A significantly higher number of eosinophils was found in children with early or late-onset eczema compared to children without eczema at age of 1.5 years. Both early and late-onset eczema were not only significantly associated with higher prevalence of allergic rhinitis at 2, 3, and 4 years of age, but also asthma at age 2. Furthermore, early-onset eczema appeared to show a significantly increased risk of allergic rhinitis [odds ratio (OR), 3.71; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.37–10.02; P = 0.010] and asthma (OR, 3.80; 95% CI, 1.12–12.85; P = 0.032) at an age of 4 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Early-onset eczema appears not only to be associated with an increase in the prevalence of milk sensitization but also the risk of rhinitis and asthma in early childhood.