Environmental risk factors for early infantile atopic dermatitis

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2007 Aug;18(5):441-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2007.00550.x.


Previous studies of predictors of atopic dermatitis (AD) in Asia have had limited sample size and small numbers of variables focused primarily on family history or dietary exposures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of various environmental risk factors for early infantile AD. We used multistage, stratified systematic sampling to recruit 2048 mother-child pairs from the Taiwan national birth registration in 2003. Information on environmental risk factors for infant AD gathered by questionnaire were available from 1760 infants at 6 months of age. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk factors for AD after adjusting for potential confounders. AD was noted in 118 of 1760 (6.7%) of the infants. After adjusting for maternal age and education, family history of atopy, infant gender, and gestational age, fungi on walls of the house [aOR 2.14 (95% CI 1.41-3.22)] and frequent use of microwave oven at home [aOR 1.71 (95% CI 1.13-2.58)] increased the risk of early infantile AD. This study suggests that environmental factors do play a role in early infantile AD. Fungi, a kind of aeroallergen, are especially important in humid climate as in Taiwan and their impacts might be felt at the early infant stage. The hazards of microwave use should be paid more attention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology*
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan / epidemiology