Maternal anxiety during pregnancy is a risk factor for the onset of infantile atopic eczema at the age of six to eight months, say a new study.

The researchers at the National Center for Child Health and Development, Allergy Division in Tokyo, Japan, have come to this conclusion after analysing data from 896 pairs of mothers and children (474 boys and 422 girls), findings which they presented to the EAACI Congress 2012 in Geneva.

"18.75% of mothers were classified into the highest anxiety group, 62.39% of mothers showed moderate anxiety and 18.86% of mothers were categorised into the lowest anxiety group", explains Dr. Mana Hamaguchi, Clinical Psychologist at the National Center for Child Health and Development. The average prevalence of atopic eczema was 46.76%. The tests showed that children of mothers with higher anxiety scores were more likely to be affected by eczema. The conclusion is that mothers suffering from anxiety during pregnancy have a higher risk of their children developing eczema at the age of six to eight months.

Posted by Penny Hosie