Neuropsychologic status at the age 4 years and atopy in a population-based birth cohort

J. Julvez, M. Torrent, M. Guxens, J. M. Antó, S. Guerra, J. Sunyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Mental health has been reported to be associated with allergy, but only a few cohort studies have assessed if neurodevelopment predicts atopy. Objective: To investigate if neurobehavioral status of healthy 4-year-old children was associated with specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) at the same age and skin prick test results 2 years later. Methods: A population-based birth cohort enrolled 482 children, 422 of them (87%) provided neurobehavioral data, 341 (71%) had specific IgE measured at the age of 4 years; and 395 (82%) had skin prick tests completed at the age of 6 years. Atopy was defined as IgE levels higher than 0.35 kU/l to any of the three tested allergens at the age of 4 or as a positive skin prick test to any of the six tested allergens at the age of 6. McCarthy Scales of Child Abilities and California Preschool Social Competence Scale were the psychometric instruments used. Results: Twelve percent of children at the age of 4 and 17% at the age of 6 were atopic. Neurobehavioral scores were negatively associated with 6-year-old atopy after adjustment for socio-demographic and allergic factors, A relative risk of 3.06 (95% CI: 1.30-7.24) was associated with the lowest tertile (scorings ≤90 points) of the general cognitive scale. Similar results were found for verbal abilities, executive functions, and social competence. Asthma, wheezing, rhinitis, and eczema at the age of 6, but not at the age of 4, were associated with neurodevelopment at the age of 4. Conclusions: Neuropsychologic functioning and later atopy are negatively associated in preschool age children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1279-1285
Number of pages7
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Allergic disorders
  • Atopy
  • Children
  • Immunoglobulin E sensitization
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neuropsychologic status
  • Population-based cohort study
  • Skin prick test
  • Social competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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