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Research Article

Respiratory infections in the first year of life in children at risk of developing atopy.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 03 April 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:1011
  1. J J Cogswell,
  2. D F Halliday,
  3. J R Alexander


    Ninety-two infants, each of whom had one parent with asthma or hay fever, were followed up from birth to age of 1 year and 72 to the age of three years. During the first year of life respiratory symptoms, eczema, and respiratory viral infections were all reported. Within the first year 24 babies developed eczema; 28 had a wheal of 1 mm in diameter or more on prick skin testing with cutaneous allergens. Forty-three children had one or both of these characteristics and formed an atopic subgroup; by the same criteria, 49 children were non-atopic. The number of respiratory infections in the two groups was not significantly different; similar viruses were isolated from both groups. These viruses were associated with both upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Wheezing was a clinical feature in 12 children during lower respiratory tract infections. Of these babies six were atopic in the first year of life. Of the six non-atopic babies, one had eczema in the second year and five children developed raised total serum IgE values within the 3 years.