How does parental history of atopic disease predict the risk of atopic dermatitis in a child? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology








Atopic dermatitis; atopic disease; meta-analysis; parental history; predisposition; systematic review


© 2020 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Background: Parental history of atopic disease is a well-established risk factor for the development of atopic dermatitis (AD), but several aspects of this association remain unclear. Objective: We sought to determine the association of parental history of atopic disease with AD in offspring. Methods: We searched PubMed and EMBASE through June 2018 for relevant records and adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CI were calculated using random-effects models. Results: A total of 163 records covering 149 unique studies were included. Of these, 119 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Individuals with parental history of atopic disease had increased odds of AD (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.65-1.99). Parental asthma (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.18-2.05) and allergic rhinitis (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.34-2.11) had a smaller effect than AD (OR, 3.30; 95% CI, 2.46-4.42). The effect of maternal and paternal history was comparable for all atopic diseases. An increase in odds was observed when comparing the effect of having 1 (OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.15-1.47) or 2 atopic parents (OR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.83-2.36), as well as having a parent with 1 (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.28-1.74) or more atopic diseases (OR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.92-2.81). Conclusions: This study provides evidence-based risk estimates that may guide physicians who counsel parents with a history of atopic disease about their children's risk of AD. This information is of particular importance for future efforts toward establishing prophylactic interventions for AD on a general population level.

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