Tobacco smoke exposure and allergic sensitization in children: A propensity score analysis.
ABSTRACT Background and objective: There is conflicting evidence of the effect of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on the development of allergic diseases in children. Studies have shown that this relationship differs depending on maternal history of the disease. We employed the rigour of propensity score methods to assess this relationship using data from a birth cohort. Methods: Using n = 662 children from the Wayne County Health, Environment, Allergy and Asthma Longitudinal Study, we assessed the relationship between early-life ETS and subsequent allergic sensitization via a positive skin prick test (SPT+) or at least one specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) ≥ 0.35 (sIgE+) in children aged 2-3 years. Propensity score estimation followed by full and nearest neighbour matching was compared with standard multivariable regression models. Results: Among children without a maternal history of allergic disease, ETS was positively associated with allergic sensitization in children with an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for SPT+ of 2.32 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.28-4.22) and the aOR for sIgE+ was 2.53 (95% CI: 1.43-4.48). Contrarily, for children with a positive maternal history, the aOR for SPT+ and sIgE+ was 0.56 (95% CI: 0.24-1.32) and 0.43 (95% CI: 0.20-0.91), respectively. Conclusions: Using propensity score methods to rigorously control for confounding factors, ETS exposure was found to reduce the risk of allergic sensitization in children with a positive maternal history. There is a strong association between early-life ETS and the development of allergic sensitization for children aged 2-3 years without maternal history.
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ABSTRACT: Emergence of new environmental risk factors, and/or loss of protective factors of a traditional lifestyle may explain the increase, or variations in prevalence of allergic diseases. The aim of this study was to delineate the prevalence and spectrum of, and to reveal the causal and/or protective factors for atopic sensitization among a heterogeneous cohort of Turkish children, for the first time in our country. The study design adhered to International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) phase II protocol. A self-administered parental questionnaire about demographic characteristics and detailed risk factors, and skin-prick test with 13 allergens were employed in a clustered random sample of 8-11-yr-old Turkish school children. Atopy was defined as the presence of at least one positive skin reaction to any allergen tested. The association between a total of 78 risk factors and different aspects of atopy were analyzed in 1144 children with multivariate logistic regression analysis. The overall prevalence of atopy was 20.6%. Most common sensitizations were to grass pollens, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Blatella germanica. Day care attendance, high paternal education level, male gender and maternal asthma were significant risk factors for atopy. Breastfeeding more than 6 months (compared with 0-6 months), maternal smoking during pregnancy and a birth weight under 2500 g were inversely related to (or protective factors for) atopic sensitization. Maternal atopic disease had significant effects on risk factors pattern. In children with a maternal atopy history a low birth weight, day care attendance and maternal smoking during the first year of life independently increased the risk of atopic sensitization. Gender, breastfeeding and paternal education did not show any association with atopy in this group of children. A history of measles and low gestational age were significant protective factors for mite sensitization. This study showed that children of atopic mothers showed a different profile of risk factors associated with atopic sensitization, when compared with other children. Prenatal and early childhood events had important associations with atopic sensitization.Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 03/2004; 15(1):62-71. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The goal of this article is to construct doubly robust (DR) estimators in ignorable missing data and causal inference models. In a missing data model, an estimator is DR if it remains consistent when either (but not necessarily both) a model for the missingness mechanism or a model for the distribution of the complete data is correctly specified. Because with observational data one can never be sure that either a missingness model or a complete data model is correct, perhaps the best that can be hoped for is to find a DR estimator. DR estimators, in contrast to standard likelihood-based or (nonaugmented) inverse probability-weighted estimators, give the analyst two chances, instead of only one, to make a valid inference. In a causal inference model, an estimator is DR if it remains consistent when either a model for the treatment assignment mechanism or a model for the distribution of the counterfactual data is correctly specified. Because with observational data one can never be sure that a model for the treatment assignment mechanism or a model for the counterfactual data is correct, inference based on DR estimators should improve upon previous approaches. Indeed, we present the results of simulation studies which demonstrate that the finite sample performance of DR estimators is as impressive as theory would predict. The proposed method is applied to a cardiovascular clinical trial.Biometrics 01/2006; 61(4):962-73. · 1.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The presence of pets in a home during the prenatal period and during early infancy has been associated with a lower prevalence of allergic sensitization and total IgE levels in middle childhood. No studies have examined the effect of pet exposure in a population-based cohort by using multiple early-life measures of serum total IgE. We sought to examine within-individual longitudinal trends in total IgE levels during early childhood and assess the effect of indoor prenatal pet exposure on those trends. Also, we sought to use a statistical method that was flexible enough to allow and account for unequally spaced study contacts and missing data. Using the population-based Wayne County Health, Environment, Allergy and Asthma Longitudinal Study birth cohort (62% African American), we analyzed 1187 infants with 1 to 4 measurements of total IgE collected from birth to 2 years of age. Effects of pet exposure on the shape and trajectory of IgE levels were assessed by using a multilevel longitudinal model, accommodating repeated measures, missing data, and the precise time points of data collection. The best-fit shape to the trajectory of IgE levels was nonlinear, with an accelerated increase before 6 months. Total IgE levels were lower across the entire early-life period when there was prenatal indoor pet exposure (P < .001). This effect was statistically significantly stronger in children delivered by means of cesarean section versus those delivered vaginally (P < .001 and P < .06, respectively) and in those born to non-African American (P < .001) versus African American (P < .3) mothers. Pet exposure and delivery mode might be markers of infant exposure to distinct microbiomes. The effect of exposures might vary by race, suggesting a differential effect by ancestry.The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 08/2011; 128(4):880-885.e4. · 9.17 Impact Factor