Munich - Frequent colds in the mother during pregnancy may increase the child's risk of asthma. This is the result of cohort study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (2014; 112: 132-139.e1), which looked for perinatal influences on the development of allergic diseases.
The team around Erika von Mutius vom has accompanied 526 pregnant women and their children up to the age of 5. During pregnancy, the mothers used questionnaire to indicate, among other things, whether and, if so, how often they had suffered from cold during pregnancy.
The children of women who could remember three or more colds were more than twice as likely to develop asthma as others by the age of 5 (odds ratio 2.31). The association was significant with 95 percent confidence interval of 1.12 to 4.78. The researchers were able to rule out number of other possible reasons for an increased susceptibility such as allergies and smoking by parents, older siblings or animals in the household.
As always with an observational study, it cannot be completely ruled out that other “confounders “Were overlooked. The study also does not allow the conclusion that protection against colds during pregnancy or the flu vaccination, which has now been recommended, could prevent an allergic disease in the child. For this purpose, further studies would have to be carried out.
The investigation, which took place in families with asthma diseases, confirms some aspects of the hygiene hypothesis. Detection of endotoxins in the child's mattress (an indication of bacterial contamination) was associated with certain protective effect against sensitization to house dust mite (odds ratio 0.73; 0.57-0.95) and asthma (odds ratio 0.71; 0 , 55-0.93).