Clinical markers of asthma and IgE assessed in parents before conception predict asthma and hayfever in the offspring.

In this paper we found that offspring asthma with hay fever was more strongly associated with pre-natal rather than post-natal parental bronchial hyper responsiveness and specific IgE, suggestive of an epigenetic inheritance.


This paper included 4293 participants from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) from many study centers around Europe. We found that offspring asthma with hay fever was more strongly associated with pre-natal rather than post-natal parental bronchial hyper responsiveness and specific IgE, suggestive of an epigenetic inheritance. The novelty of this paper is to assess parental disease activity, whereas parental disease is normally recorded only as history of parental disease irrespective of the conception of the child. If the hypothesis is confirmed in other studies, parental disease activity assessed before conception may prove useful for identifying children at risk for developing asthma with hayfever. The paper was also highlighted as an Editor’s choice selection paper in May 2017 Edition of Clinical & Experimental Allergy.

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