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Comparison of individual-level and population-level risk factors for rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, and eczema in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three

Rutter, CE; Silverwood, RJ; Asher, MI; Ellwood, P; Pearce, N; Garcia-Marcos, L; Strachan, DP; (2020) Comparison of individual-level and population-level risk factors for rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, and eczema in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three. World Allergy Organization Journal , 13 (6) , Article 100123. 10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100123. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic eczema in children cluster at both the individual and population levels. OBJECTIVES: To assess individual-level and school-level risk factors for symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis and compare them to corresponding associations with symptoms of asthma and eczema in Phase Three of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. MTHODS: We studied 116,863 children aged 6–7 years from 2163 schools in 59 centres and 22 countries and 224,436 adolescents aged 13–14 years from 2037 schools in 97 centres in 41 countries. Multilevel logistic regression models were fitted with random intercepts for school, centre, and country, adjusting for sex and maternal education at the child level. Associations between symptoms and a range of lifestyle and environmental risk factors were assessed for both the child's exposure and mean exposure at the school. Models were fitted for rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, and eczema singly (unimorbidity) and for combinations of these conditions (multimorbidity). RESULTS: Generally, associations between symptoms and exposures at the school level were similar in direction and magnitude to those at the child level. Associations with multimorbidity were stronger than for unimorbidity, particularly in individuals with symptoms of all three diseases, but risk factor associations found in conventional single disease analyses persisted among children with only one condition, after excluding multimorbid groups. Comparisons of individuals with only one disease showed that many risk factor associations were consistent across the three conditions. More strongly associated with asthma were low birthweight, cat exposure in infancy, and current maternal smoking. Current paracetamol use was more strongly associated with asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis than eczema. Breastfeeding was more strongly associated with eczema than asthma or rhinoconjunctivitis. The direction and magnitude of most risk factor associations were similar in affluent and non-affluent countries, although notable exceptions include farm animal contact in infancy and larger sibships, which were associated with increased risk of rhinoconjunctivitis in non-affluent countries but reduced risk in affluent countries. In both age groups, current paracetamol use increased risk of each disease to a greater extent in affluent countries than in non-affluent countries. Effects of paracetamol and antibiotics in infancy were more consistent between richer and poorer settings. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the environmental and lifestyle correlates of rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma and eczema in childhood display similarity across the three conditions, even in less affluent settings where allergic sensitisation is less likely to explain the concordant epidemiological patterns.

Type: Article
Title: Comparison of individual-level and population-level risk factors for rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, and eczema in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100123
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100123
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of World Allergy Organization. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Rhinoconjunctivitis, Asthma, Eczema, Multimorbidity, Global
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106380
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