Journal Article

Common Respiratory Infections Early in Life May Reduce the Risk of Atopic Dermatitis

Terhi Kilpi, Jukka Kero, Jukka Jokinen, Ritva Syrjänen, Aino K. Takala, Tapani Hovi and Erika Isolauri

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue 5, pages 620-626
Published in print March 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/338783
Common Respiratory Infections Early in Life May Reduce the Risk of Atopic Dermatitis

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Infections that occur early in life may protect against atopic disease later in life. To investigate the relationship between common acute respiratory infections and atopic dermatitis in early childhood, we closely observed a cohort of 329 children from the ages of 2 to 24 months. We assessed the effect of proven viral infections and acute otitis media on the occurrence of atopic dermatitis. If the child had his or her first respiratory infection before the age of 6 months, the child's remaining risk of developing atopic dermatitis was reduced by 49% (95% confidence interval, -24% to 79%). The individual risk of developing atopic dermatitis was similarly reduced after infection experienced at ≥6 months of age, but the remaining risk was low, because most cases of atopic dermatitis had manifested by this time. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that early infections may reduce the risk of atopic disease.

Journal Article.  4178 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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