Table of Contents
ISRN Allergy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 164063, 4 pages
Clinical Study

The Relationship between Maternal Atopy and Childhood Asthma in Pretoria, South Africa

1Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Pretoria, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa
2Department of Biostatistics, Medical Research Council of South Africa and Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Received 23 December 2012; Accepted 9 January 2013

Academic Editors: S. Burastero, B. Vonakis, and B. Xu

Copyright © 2013 Salome Abbott et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Asthma is the commonest chronic condition of children. Diagnosis of this condition remains difficult. Many surrogate markers are used, such as documenting evidence of atopy. Method. A random sample of asthmatic children and their mothers attending the Children’s Chest and Allergy Clinic at Steve Biko Academic Hospital were enrolled. Children were classified as having atopic or nonatopic asthma. Mothers completed a questionnaire to uncover atopic features. Results. Along with their mothers, 64 children with atopic asthma and 36 with nonatopic asthma were studied. The proportion of children with atopic asthma does not differ for mothers with and without a positive SPT ( ), a history of asthma ( ), symptoms suggestive of an allergic disease ( ), or who were considered to be allergic ( ). The odds ratio of a child having atopic asthma when having a mother with a doctor diagnosed history of asthma is 4.76, but the sensitivity is low (21.9%). Conclusion. The data demonstrates that all maternal allergic or asthmatic associations are poor predictors of childhood atopic asthma. Despite the increased risk of atopic asthma in a child to a mother that has a doctor diagnosis of asthma (OR 4.76 ), this is a poor predictor of atopic asthma (sensitivity 21.9%).