A mother’s allergies and asthma could lead to a higher risk of those same conditions in her children, new research in Clinical & Experimental Allergy finds.

By the time the children were 6 years old, however, both parents presented the same risk. This suggests that non-genetic factors related to mothers — such as factors present in the uterus during pregnancy — may confer an added risk of allergies and asthma to children.

“This study adds to the increasing evidence linking the pregnancy period to disease in early childhood. We find this discovery very interesting, as it circumvents any known or unknown genetic factors that could add to the heritability of asthma and allergies,” said senior author Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc, of the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.

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