Doctors have reportedly discovered a child's risk of developing an allergic disease is doubled if a parent of the same sex has suffered from it. Daybreak's Cordelia Kretzschmar reports.
Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. It is a long-term, or chronic, condition.
Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the most common form of eczema. It mainly affects children, but can continue into adulthood.
Asthma is a condition that affects the airways - the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.
When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways, the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell.
Sometimes, sticky mucus or phlegm builds up, which can further narrow the airways.
These reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated - making it difficult to breath and leading to symptoms of asthma.
- 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.