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Open Access Research article

A primary health-care intervention on pre- and postnatal risk factor behavior to prevent childhood allergy. The Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim (PACT) study

Ola Storrø*, Torbjørn Øien, Christian K Dotterud, Jon A Jenssen and Roar Johnsen

Author Affiliations

Department of Public Health and General Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7489 Trondheim, Norway

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:443  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-443

Published: 28 July 2010

Abstract

Background

This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a primary prevention intervention program on risk behavior for allergic diseases among children up to 2 years of age. The setting was in ordinary pre- and postnatal primary health care in Trondheim, Norway.

Methods

The Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim, Norway (PACT) study invited all pregnant women and parents to children up to 2 years of age in the community to participate in a non-randomized, controlled, multiple life-style intervention study. Interventional topics was increased dietary intake of cod liver oil and oily fish for women during pregnancy and for infants during the first 2 years of life, reduced parental smoking and reduced indoor dampness. A control cohort was established prior to the intervention cohort with "follow up as usual". Questionnaires were completed in pregnancy, 6 weeks after birth and at 1 and 2 years of age. Trends in exposure and behavior are described.

Results

Intake of oily fish and cod liver oil increased statistically significantly among women and infants in the intervention cohort compared to the control cohort. There was a low postnatal smoking prevalence in both cohorts, with a trend towards a decreasing smoking prevalence in the control cohort. There was no change in indoor dampness or in behavior related to non- intervened life-style factors.

Conclusions

The dietary intervention seemed to be successful. The observed reduced smoking behavior could not be attributed to the intervention program, and the latter had no effect on indoor dampness.

Trial registrations

(Current Controlled Trials registration number: ISRCTN28090297)