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Early-life risk factors and incidence of rhinitis: Results from the European Community Respiratory Health Study-an international population-based cohort study


Matheson, MC and Dharmage, SC and Abramson, MJ and Walters, EH and Sunyer, J and de Marco, R and Leynaert, B and Heinrich, J and Jarvis, D and Norback, D and Raherison, C and Wjst, M and Svanes, C, Early-life risk factors and incidence of rhinitis: Results from the European Community Respiratory Health Study-an international population-based cohort study, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 128, (4) pp. 816-823. ISSN 0091-6749 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2011.05.039


Background: Rhinitis is an increasingly common condition with a heavy health care burden, but relatively little is known about its risk factors. Objective: To examine the association between early-life factors and the development of rhinitis in the European Community Respiratory Health Study (ECRHS). Methods: In 1992-1994, community-based samples of 20-44-yearold people were recruited from 48 centers in 22 countries. On average, 8.9 years later, 28 centers reinvestigated their samples. Onset of rhinitis was reported by 8486 participants in interviewerled questionnaires. Cox regression was used to assess independent predictors of rhinitis at ages <5, 6-10, 11-20, and >21 years. Results: The crude lifelong incidence of rhinitis was 7.00/1000/ year (men) and 7.95/1000/year (women) (P 5 .002). Women developed less rhinitis in later childhood (hazard ratios [HR], 0.63; 95% CI, 0.47-0.85) and more rhinitis in adulthood (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.11-1.66) than did men. In atopic subjects, siblings were associated with lower risk of rhinitis throughout life (pooled HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91-0.98 per 1 sibling). Early contact with children in the family or day care was associated with less incidence of rhinitis, predominantly before age 5 years (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.99). Early childhood pets or growing up on a farm was associated with less incidence of rhinitis in adolescence (HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.37-0.68). Combining these factors showed evidence of a dose-response relationship (trend P 5 .0001). Conclusions: Gender is a strong risk factor for rhinitis, with age patterns varying according to atopic status. Protective effects of early contact with children and animals were suggested for incident rhinitis, with risk patterns varying by age window and atopic status.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Rhinitis, atopy, gender, pet exposure, siblings, farming lifestyle
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
Research Field:Respiratory Diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions)
Objective Field:Respiratory System and Diseases (incl. Asthma)
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:72606
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:29
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-08-29
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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