Skin test reactivity and number of siblings

Erika Von Mutius, Fernando Martinez, Christian Fritzsch, Thomas Nicolai, Peter Reitmeir, Hans Heinrich Thiemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

382 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective - To investigate the relation between skin test reactivity in children and number of siblings. Design - Cross sectional survey among school-children aged 9-11 years. Skin prick tests in the children and self completion of written questionnaire by their parents. Subjects - 5030 children in Munich and 2623 children in Leipzig and Halle, Germany. Main outcome measures - Atopic status assessed by skin prick tests. Results - After possible cofounders were controlled for, the prevalence of atopic sensitisation decreased linearly with increasing number of siblings (odds ratio =0.96 for one sibling, 0.67 for five or more siblings; P=0.005). In atopic children the severity of the skin test reaction as assessed by the weal size was not associated with the number of siblings. Conclusions - Factors directly or indirectly related to the number of siblings may decrease the susceptibility of children to become atopic. Thus, declining family size may in part contribute to the increased prevalence of atopic diseases reported in Western countries over the past few decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-695
Number of pages4
JournalBMJ (Clinical research ed.)
Volume308
Issue number6930
StatePublished - Mar 12 1994

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Skin Tests
Siblings
Germany
Cross-Sectional Studies
Parents
Odds Ratio
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Von Mutius, E., Martinez, F., Fritzsch, C., Nicolai, T., Reitmeir, P., & Thiemann, H. H. (1994). Skin test reactivity and number of siblings. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 308(6930), 692-695.

Skin test reactivity and number of siblings. / Von Mutius, Erika; Martinez, Fernando; Fritzsch, Christian; Nicolai, Thomas; Reitmeir, Peter; Thiemann, Hans Heinrich.

In: BMJ (Clinical research ed.), Vol. 308, No. 6930, 12.03.1994, p. 692-695.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Von Mutius, E, Martinez, F, Fritzsch, C, Nicolai, T, Reitmeir, P & Thiemann, HH 1994, 'Skin test reactivity and number of siblings', BMJ (Clinical research ed.), vol. 308, no. 6930, pp. 692-695.
Von Mutius E, Martinez F, Fritzsch C, Nicolai T, Reitmeir P, Thiemann HH. Skin test reactivity and number of siblings. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 1994 Mar 12;308(6930):692-695.
Von Mutius, Erika ; Martinez, Fernando ; Fritzsch, Christian ; Nicolai, Thomas ; Reitmeir, Peter ; Thiemann, Hans Heinrich. / Skin test reactivity and number of siblings. In: BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 1994 ; Vol. 308, No. 6930. pp. 692-695.
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