Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of genetic and various environmental factors for atopic dermatitis (AD) occurring in the first 18 months of life.
Methods: We used the multistage stratified systematic sampling to recruit 2,048 mother-child pairs from the Taiwan National Birth Registry in 2003. Information on family history of atopy and environmental risk factors for AD of children were gathered by questionnaires at 18 months of age. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk factors of the AD after adjusting for potential confounders.
Results: AD was noted in 147/1618 (9.08%) of the children. We found maternal history of AD, maternal grandparents' history of AD, higher family income, and higher maternal education level increased the risk of pediatric AD. The adjusted ORs and their 95% CIs were 4.10 (1.27-13.25), 4.56 (1.39-15.00), 1.66 (1.00-2.77), and 1.71 (1.56-6.97), respectively. However, duration of breast feeding did not alter the risk estimates of AD.
Conclusions: AD may be inherited preferentially through the maternal line. Prevention of special environmental exposures is urgently needed for children with maternal history of AD.