A new study conducted by a team of British researchers has found that the risk of developing allergic diseases, such as asthma, is high in an individual if a parent of the same sex has the allergy.
More than 1,450 patients were observed from birth for over a period of 23 years by researchers at Southampton General Hospital who found that the risk of asthma in boys rose by two times if the fathers also suffered from the same condition while the risk of asthma in girls was linked to similar condition in the mothers.
The researchers also found a similar gender related risk in eczema with paternal eczema increasing the risk of the condition by 50 percent in boys while maternal eczema increased the risk in girls. The study was funded by National Institute of Health in the United States and has been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
"With these groundbreaking findings, we should see a change in the way we assess a child's risk of disease, asking girls for the allergy history of their mother and boys for that of their father. This work also opens up novel areas for further research in the genetics of allergy as to why this sex-dependent effect occurs and, if we can find the reason, we can try to find a way of preventing sex-specific disease", lead researcher Professor Hasan Arshad said.
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