Hide menu

Infant eczema often leads to asthma

Eczema in an infant is a clear warning sign for further allergies as the child gets older. In a recently published study from Linköping University, almost one third of all the children with eczema developed asthma by the age of ten.

professor Karin Faldt-Magnusson”The strength of this study is that we examined the 123 participants carefully, and followed most of them for ten years. We used modern clinical tools that verify the presence of asthma and a scientific method, SCORAD, to assess the eczema. We also conducted a qualitative assessment of the parents’ allergies,” says Karin Fälth-Magnusson (left), paediatric allergologist and professor of paediatrics, who led the study that was recently published in the scientific journal PLOS One.

The results have led the researchers back to the classic description where severe eczema in infants, especially in combination with wheezing, leads to hay fever in pre-school age and later to asthma. This “atopic march” has been questioned at times, but Prof Fälth-Magnusson believes there is now strong evidence that the notion is relevant.

”The eczema reflects a constitution in the child to develop allergic symptoms, where different systems are affected at different ages,” she says.

The study population was 123 infants with eczema who were referred to paediatric clinics in Linköping, Norrköping, Jönköping and Hudiksvall between 1999 and 2001. At the age of ten, 94 of them were still part of the study, and were examined again. 64% still had problems with eczema, 47% had hay fever and 29% asthma. Just 14% were completely free from allergic symptoms.

The study has provided material for a number of articles, concerning everything from the genetic and immunological background to how to manage the condition.

AllergiundersökningHeredity is significant, especially if both parents suffer from allergic symptoms. But it has become increasingly common that children in non-allergic families are also afflicted. Unfortunately there is not yet any cure for these conditions.

”It’s still very important to treat the eczema. A damaged skin barrier increases the risk of developing additional problems, says Prof Fälth-Magnusson.

Today there is good calming treatment against asthma, which has changed the lives of the children affected. Only a few now have symptoms so severe that they require hospital care.

Article: Severe eczema in infancy can predict asthma development. A prospective study to the age of 10 years by Marie Ekbäck, Michaela Tedner, Irene Devenney, Göran Oldæus, Gunilla Norrman, Leif Strömberg and Karin Fälth-Magnusson. PLOS One 9(6) 10 June 2014.

Photo above right: Linköping University has a strong research profile in the field of child allergies. Here, paediatric allergologist Karel Duchen examines Rasmus Oehm, on his mother Stina’s lap. Photo: Göran Billeson

Åke Hjelm 2014-06-30


Johnny Ludvigsson among top ten

The medical database Expertscape has ranked LiU researcher Johnny Ludvigsson among the world's top ten experts in research on type 1 diabetes.

Tougher on the tumour, gentler on the patient

Using MRI technology, the project Gentle Radiotherapy aims to realise the vision of individualised cancer treatment, with better results and fewer side effects. Peter Lundberg, professor at Linköping University, is part of the project.

Blood platelets disinfected to death

If blood becomes too thin, a transfusion with blood platelets may be necessary – but potential pathogenic agents must first be rendered harmless. The substances used for this unfortunately also destroy the blood platelets themselves, as shown in the findings of research at LiU and several European and Canadian universities.

Ten children ok, donors say

Between one and ten children – that is what the majority of Swedish egg and sperm donors think is an acceptable level for their assistance to childless couples. Female donors are more restrictive than male donors, according to a study at Linköping University.

Low-carbohydrate diet reduced inflammation

A low-carbohydrate diet, but not a low-fat diet, reduces inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to research at Linköping University.

New method measures turbulence in the heart

Altered blood flow in the heart can lead to inefficient, unfavourable pumping of the blood. Using a new method, researchers at Linköping University have now been able to measure turbulent blood flow in the left ventricle of the heart.

Nursing programme very popular among applicants

The number of applicants to the spring term programme at the Faculty of Health Sciences is significantly higher than in the same period last year. The nursing programme has received 55% more applications than last spring.


Fernström Prize to Tino Ebbers

Professor Tino Ebbers has been awarded the 2012 Fernström Prize for his pathbreaking research around cardiovascular function in the borderlands between medicine and technology.

Page manager: susanne.b.karlsson@liu.se
Last updated: 2014-07-02