Background: To measure rates of parental-report of allergic disorders and ED presentations for allergic disorders in children, and to describe factors associated with either.
Methods: An existing cohort of 3404 children born between 2006 and 2011 (Environments for Healthy Living) with prospectively collected pre-natal, perinatal and follow-up data were linked to i) nationwide Medicare and pharmaceutical data and ii) Emergency Department (ED) data from four hospitals in Australia. Parental-reported allergy was assessed in those who returned follow-up questionnaires. ED presentation was defined as any presentation for a suite of allergic disorders, excluding asthma. Univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression were used to descibe risk factors for both parental-reported allergy and ED presentation for an allergic disorder.
Results: The incidence of parental-reported child allergy at 1, 3 and 5 years of age was 7.8, 7.8 and 12.6%, respectively. Independent predictors of parental-report of allergy in multivariate analysis were parental-report of asthma (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4-3.4) or eczema (OR 4.3, 95% CI 3.1-6.1) and age>6 months at introduction of solids (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.7). Factors associated with ED presentations for allergy, which occurred in 3.6% of the cohort, were presence of maternal asthma (OR 2.3 95% CI:1.1, 4.9) and child born in spring (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1, 2.7).
Conclusions: More than 10% of children up to 5 years have a parental-reported allergic disorder, and 3.6% presented to ED. Parental-report of eczema and/or asthma and late introduction of solids were predictors of parental-report of allergy. Spring birth and maternal asthma were predictors for ED presentation for allergy.