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Allergies 'linked to birth date'

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A child’s chance of developing allergies could depend on the season in which they were conceived, according to a recent study.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, babies whose first three months in the womb occurred during the spring are more likely to suffer from food allergies.

The study involved 5,973 children from south-east Finland who were born between April 2001 and March 2006.

Of this group, 18% had tested positive for food allergies by the time they were four. The results show that, by this age, sensitivity to food allergy varies according to their month of birth, from 5% of children born in June and July to 10% for those born October or November.

It also shows that approximately 11% of children whose 11th week of development in the womb was in April or May are more likely to suffer food allergies, compared with 6% of children whose 11th week was in December or January.

The April/May group is three times more likely to be sensitive to milk and eggs than the December/January group, while the study supports an already established link between pollen and food allergies.

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