Pollen exposure in pregnancy and infancy and risk of asthma hospitalisation – a register based cohort study
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2012, 8:17 doi:10.1186/1710-1492-8-17
Published: 7 November 2012
A seasonal effect of month of birth and risk of allergic disease has been suggested by numerous studies. Few studies have directly measured pollen exposures at different points during pregnancy and in early life, and assessed their effects on risk of respiratory disease outcomes.
Pollen exposure was calculated for the first and last 12 weeks of pregnancy and the first 12 weeks of infancy for all children conceived by women residing in Stockholm, Sweden, between 1988 and 1995. Hospital admission data for respiratory conditions in the first year of life was also collected.
Out of 110,381 children, 940 had been hospitalised for asthma by 12-months of age. Pollen levels showed both marked seasonal variations and between year differences. Exposure to high levels of pollen in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of asthma hospitalisation (aOR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.07-1.71 for highest quartile versus remaining infants).
Exposure to high levels of pollen in the first three months of life was associated with a reduced risk (aOR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.59-0.98) but only in children of heavy smoking mothers.
High levels of pollen exposure during late pregnancy were somewhat unexpectedly associated with an elevated risk of hospitalisation for asthma within the first year of life.
Seasons and Autism
The disappearing seasonality of autism conceptions in California.
Paul F Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America. firstname.lastname@example.org
Autism incidence and prevalence have increased dramatically in the last two decades. The autism caseload in California increased 600% between 1992 and 2006, yet there is little consensus as to the cause. Studying the seasonality of conceptions of children later diagnosed with autism may yield clues to potential etiological drivers.
To assess if the conceptions of children later diagnosed with autism cluster temporally in a systematic manner and whether any pattern of temporal clustering persists over time.
We searched for seasonality in conceptions of children later diagnosed with autism by applying a one-dimensional scan statistic with adaptive temporal windows on case and control population data from California for 1992 through 2000. We tested for potential confounding effects from known risk factors using logistic regression models.
There is a consistent but decreasing seasonal pattern in the risk of conceiving a child later diagnosed with autism in November for the first half of the study period. Temporal clustering of autism conceptions is not an artifact of composition with respect to known risk factors for autism such as socio-economic status.
There is some evidence of seasonality in the risk of conceiving a child later diagnosed with autism. Searches for environmental factors related to autism should allow for the possibility of risk factors or etiological drivers that are seasonally patterned and that appear and remain salient for a discrete number of years.