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J Korean Pediatr Soc. 2003 Apr;46(4):370-375. Korean. Original Article.
Kang EK , Na KM , Kang H , Yoo Y , Koh YY .
Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

PURPOSE: It has been suggested that the exposure to aeroallergens during early infancy after birth is important in the subsequent development of sensitization and allergic diseases. In Korea, the level of house dust mites as one of the important aeroallergens is known to be the highest in autumn. The aim of this study was to test whether the distribution of month of birth bears a relationship to the presence of mite sensitization in children with respiratory allergy. METHODS: Skin prick tests and methacholine provocation tests were performed on 1,327 patients with chronic respiratory symptoms who visited Seoul National University Children's Hospital from January 1995 to May 2002. An analysis of patients' month of birth distribution according to the presence of mite sensitization was performed. RESULTS: Atopic subjects who had at least one positive skin test numbered 864(65.1%); and non- atopic subjects numbered 463(34.9%). Among atopic subjects, 787(59.3%) had positive skin tests to mites and 77(5.8%) had positive skin test only to minor allergens. A significantly greater than expected number of mite atopic subjects were born in the months between August and November(P=0.03), however, the birth month of non-atopic subjects didn't show a consistent seasonal preference. Asthma patients numbered 543(40.9%). Among these, atopic asthmatics numbered 421(77.5%) and non-atopic asthmatics, 122(22.5%). Dust-mite atopic asthmatics numbered 387(91.9%) out of 421 atopic asthmatics. Dust-mite atopic asthmatics were born significantly higher in the season lasting from August to November in comparison to non-atopic asthmatics(P=0.002). CONCLUSION: Month of birth seems to be related with sensitization to allergens. Our results show that August to November is the risk period for the development of mite sensitization in Korea.

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