Birth weight related to the risk of childhood allergies, according to study

According to a study produced by researcher Kathy Gatford of the Robinson Research Institute of the University of Adelaide, the greater the weight of the child at birth compared to the gestational period, the greater the risk of food allergies and eczema.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed 15,000 previous studies mostly from European countries. This is data related to millions of allergic people and researchers have focused mostly on data on children. Specifically, Gatford and colleagues analyzed the links between birth weight and the incidence of allergic diseases in children and adults.

According to the researcher, for every pound of weight gain at birth there was a 44% increase in the child’s risk of incurring food allergies and a 17% increase in incurring eczema. There were no connections with hay fever.

According to the doctor, those children who showed limited intrauterine growth seemed to be protected, once born, from the development of allergic responses. However, these same children saw their risks of developing other diseases later in life increase.

“It is increasingly clear that genetics alone does not explain the risks of developing allergies and that environmental exposures before and around birth can plan people for an increase or a reduction in the risk of allergies”, explains the researcher who adds: “We do not want small children, but we would like to understand how much less or slower growth before birth is protective against allergies.”