Eczema is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease in childhood that inflicts a substantial physical, psychosocial and economic burden. Eczema may occur solely or coincide with allergic sensitization and symptoms of allergy as part of an atopic constitution.
Because the developmental origins of childhood eczema, allergic sensitization and allergy may partly lie in pregnancy and infancy, it is from an etiological perspective crucial to study fetal and infant exposures that may affect the risk of these entities. Also, insight into the role of fetal and infant exposures may provide opportunities for prevention strategies at times when their effect is expected to be greatest.
The aim of this thesis was to assess the associations of fetal and infant exposures with childhood eczema, inhalant and food allergic sensitization or allergy. The fetal and infant exposures of interest included maternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy and maternal and fetal vitamin D levels, and ethnic origin, breastfeeding duration and exclusiveness, and timing or diversity of allergenic food introduction, respectively. We hypothesized that exposures in fetal life and infancy may affect the child's developing immune system or epidermal barrier function and, subsequently, the risk of eczema, allergic sensitization and allergy.
The research was embedded in the Generation R Study, a large multi-ethnic population-based prospective birth cohort in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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S.G.M.A. Pasmans (Suzanne) , L. Duijts (Liesbeth)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Financial support for this dissertation was kindly provided by ALK-Abelló B.V., BAP Medical B.V., Beiersdorf N.V./Eucerin, ChipSoft B.V., DermaCura, Fagron Nederland B.V., Galderma Benelux B.V., LEO Pharma B.V., Louis Widmer Nederland, Merz Pharma Benelux B.V., Micreos B.V., Nutricia Early Life Nutrition, Oldekamp Medisch B.V., Van der Bend B.V. and Vereniging voor Mensen met Constitutioneel Eczeem.
Department of Dermatology

Elbert, N. (2017, October 24). Fetal and infant origins of childhood eczema, allergic sensitization and allergy. Retrieved from