Fishy diet in early infancy cuts eczema risk

Sep 25, 2008

An infant diet that includes fish before the age of 9 months curbs the risk of developing eczema, indicates research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The prevalence of atopic eczema and other allergic disease has risen sharply in developed countries in recent decades, say the authors. Environmental and dietary factors are thought to play a part.

The researchers quizzed the parents of 6 month old babies born in western Sweden in 2003 about their child's diet and any evidence of allergic eczema. They were quizzed again when the children reached the age of 12 months.

The children were all part of an ongoing health study, Infants of Western Sweden, which is tracking the long term health of almost 17000 babies.

Complete birth data and two sets of questionnaires were obtained for almost 5000 of the 8000 families contacted.

At six months, 13% of families said that their youngest child had already developed eczema. By the time the children had reached 12 months of age, one in five had the condition.

The average age at which first symptoms appeared was 4 months.

Genes had a significant impact. Children with a sibling or mother who had the condition were almost twice as likely to be affected by the age of 12 months.

But breast feeding, the age at which dairy products were introduced into the diet, and keeping a furry pet in the house had no impact on risk. Around one in five households had a pet.

However, the introduction of fish into the diet before the age of 9 months cut the risk of developing the disease by 25%. And a pet bird was also associated with a significant reduction in risk.

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: Can YouTube save your life?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Food allergies not tied to eczema for most

Apr 13, 2011

Eczema is notoriously difficult to treat in children. The torturous dry-skin disease causes intense itching and sleeplessness, and sometimes parents try making dietary changes in addition or in place of conventional ...

Complementary medicines can be dangerous for children

Dec 23, 2010

Complementary medicines (CAM) can be dangerous for children and can even prove fatal, if substituted for conventional medicine, indicates an audit of kids' CAM treatment published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Food-allergy fears drive overly restrictive diets

Nov 04, 2010

Many children, especially those with eczema, are unnecessarily avoiding foods based on incomplete information about potential food-allergies, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. The food avoidance poses a ...

Food allergy-related disorder linked to master allergy gene

Mar 07, 2010

Scientists have identified a region of a human chromosome that is associated with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a recently recognized allergic disease. People with EoE frequently have difficulty eating or may be allergic ...

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

4 hours ago

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

5 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

5 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

6 hours ago

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

Taking preventive health care into community spaces

7 hours ago

A church. A city park. An office. These are not the typical settings for a medical checkup. But a new nationwide study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows that providing health services in ...

User comments : 0