Fertility rates in women with asthma, eczema, and hay fever: a general population-based cohort study

Am J Epidemiol. 2007 May 1;165(9):1023-30. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwk092. Epub 2007 Jan 25.


The protective association between having older siblings and the risk of subsequent allergic disease may be due to decreased fertility among women with allergic disease. In this study, the authors compared fertility rates among women with asthma, eczema, or hay fever with those in the general female population. Computerized primary-care data from the United Kingdom were used to conduct a cohort analysis of 491,516 women. General fertility rates and age-specific fertility rates for 1994-2004 were estimated. Using Poisson regression, the authors compared fertility rates among women with asthma, eczema, or hay fever with rates in women without these diagnoses. Fertility rates were 53.0 and 52.3 livebirths per 1,000 person-years in women with and without asthma, respectively. The fertility rate ratio for women with asthma compared with women without asthma was 1.02 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00, 1.04) after adjustment for age, smoking, body mass index, and socioeconomic status. Equivalent fertility rate ratios for eczema and hay fever were 1.15 (95% CI: 1.13, 1.17) and 1.08 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.10), respectively. The authors found no evidence that the fertility rates of women with asthma, eczema, or hay fever are lower than those of women in the general population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Birth Rate / trends*
  • Databases as Topic
  • Eczema / complications*
  • Eczema / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility / epidemiology*
  • Live Birth*
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / complications*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology