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Open Access Research article

Birth after preeclamptic pregnancies: association with allergic sensitization and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in late childhood; a historically matched cohort study

Kristine Kjer Byberg1*, Bjorn Ogland12, Geir Egil Eide34 and Knut Øymar15

Author Affiliations

1 Paediatric Department, Stavanger University Hospital, Post box 8100, N-4068 Stavanger, Norway

2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway

3 Centre for Clinical Research, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway

4 Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

5 Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

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BMC Pediatrics 2014, 14:101  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-101

Published: 11 April 2014

Abstract

Background

The development of allergic sensitization and allergic disease may be related to factors during intrauterine life, but the role of maternal preeclampsia is not known.

We studied if maternal preeclampsia is associated with long-term allergic sensitization, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis, asthma and with altered lung function in late childhood.

Methods

617 children participated in a 1:2 matched and controlled historical cohort study; 230 born after preeclamptic pregnancies and 387 born after normotensive pregnancies. Specific IgE in serum and lung function were measured at the age of 12.8 years and questionnaires on maternal and adolescent data were completed at the ages of 10.8 years (girls) and 11.8 years (boys), and at 12.8 years (both genders). The association between birth after preeclampsia and the main outcome measures allergic sensitization, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis, asthma and lung function in late childhood were analysed with multiple regression analyses, including possible confounders.

Results

Severe maternal preeclampsia was associated with high level allergic sensitization (sum of specific IgE in serum ≥ 3.9 kU/l; the 25 percentile for all children being sensitized); odds ratio (OR): 3.79; 95% confidence interval (CI): (1.54, 9.32); p = 0.015 and with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in offspring; OR: 2.22, 95% CI: (1.19, 4.14), p = 0.047. Preeclampsia was not associated with atopic dermatitis, asthma or altered lung function in late childhood.

Conclusion

Maternal preeclampsia was associated with allergic sensitization and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in offspring in late childhood, but not with other atopic diseases.

Keywords:
Childhood; Allergy; Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis; Allergic sensitization; Asthma; Atopic dermatitis; Atopy; Child; Lung function; Preeclampsia