BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Available data on the impact of perinatal and environmental factors on atopic diseases in the offspring are sparse and conflicting. We, therefore, investigated the impact of these factors on the risk of atopic diseases in the offspring of women with asthma.
METHODS: Pregnant women referred to give birth at Copenhagen University Hospital-Hvidovre, Denmark, have since 2007 been invited to participate in the Management of Asthma during Pregnancy program. Women with diagnosed asthma, currently prescribed asthma medication, first visit to the respiratory out-patient clinic within the first 18 weeks of pregnancy that completed an online questionnaire about atopic diseases in their child were included in the current study.
RESULTS: Five hundred and seventy-one pregnancies were included. Among the off-spring, 113 children (21%) had doctor-diagnosed asthma, 178 (31%) atopic dermatitis (AD), and 55 (32%) both AD and doctor-diagnosed asthma. AD in the offspring was associated with having a dog at home (odds ratio [OR], 2.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], [1.40-4.67], p = .002), whereas having a cat at home was associated with a higher risk of asthma in the offspring (OR, 2.16; 95% CI, [1.14-4.11], p = .02). The associations remained significant after adjusting for maternal age, smoking status, allergy, treatment with inhaled corticosteroids, forced expiratory volume in 1 s less than 80% predicted, uncontrolled asthma, and history of pre-pregnancy asthma exacerbations. No association was found between gestational weight gain (GWG) in first trimester and total GWG and atopic disease in the offspring.
CONCLUSION: Having pets at home is associated with AD and asthma in the offspring of mothers with asthma.