– Leanne Metcalf, assistant director of research and practice at Asthma UK
This study is exciting because it opens up interesting new avenues of research that could tell us more about the relative role of genes, environment and gender in terms of asthma risk, and enable us use this information to potentially prevent asthma in the future.
– Bevis Man, from the British Skin Foundation charity
This news is very interesting and sheds light on how eczema from parents can ultimately affect their children.
This news will hopefully spur a new wave of research looking into the differences between the sexes and the role in which a child is likely to develop the disease.
Although a large proportion of children will simply 'grow out' of eczema, for many adults, this is not the case, so any new developments in understanding the disease are most welcome.
– Professor Hasan Arshad, Southampton General Hospital
With these groundbreaking findings, we should see a change in the way we assess a child's risk of disease, asking girls for the allergy history of their mother and boys for that of their father.
This work also opens up novel areas for further research in the genetics of allergy as to why this sex dependent effect occurs and, if we can find the reason, we can try to find a way of preventing sex-specific disease.
- 1,456 patients were recruited from birth 23 years ago.
- Research found that the risk of asthma in boys was only increased if their fathers suffered from the condition.
- However, if mothers had asthma, it doubled the risk in their daughters but not sons.
- Research also showed maternal eczema led to a 50% increased risk of eczema in girls, while paternal eczema did the same for boys.
Doctors have discovered a child's risk of developing an allergic disease is doubled if a parent of the same sex has suffered from it, new research has claimed.
Professor Hasan Arshad, a consultant in allergy and immunology at Southampton General Hospital, found that allergies such as asthma and eczema were gender-related and not simply hereditary.
"We have known for decades that allergy runs in the family and many thought that maternal effect was greater than paternal effect due to a mothers' closeness to her child, but we have discovered the inheritance is from mother to daughter and father to son," Prof Arshad said.