Melbourne University Logo The skin condition eczema may occur in children along with hay fever, asthma or other allergies. A recent study suggests that kids who have eczema together with hay fever are nine times more likely to suffer from allergic asthma in their 40s. Prevention and rigorous treatment of childhood eczema with hay fever can supposedly restrict persistence and development of asthma.

As a part of the study, investigators examined allergies and childhood environment in 1968 among participants from the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS). These subjects were followed up in 2004, at the age of 44. Authors thoroughly scrutinized the survey and skin prick testing data gathered during the clinical study for the evidence of childhood eczema and hay fever leading to adult asthma. 

Lead author Pamela Martin, a University of Melbourne PhD student based at the Murdoch Children Research Institute and colleagues mention that childhood eczema, particularly when accompanied by hay fever appears as a very strong predictor of allergic asthma later on. It is presumed that adopting strategies to halt the ‘atopic march’ can aid in saving lives and health care costs related to asthma management and treatment.

The study is published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.