In The Press

Disclose allergies, mums-to-be told

KUALA LUMPUR: Pregnant women are advised to disclose their allergies to their doctors as this would help determine the chances of their children developing similar allergies.

Consultant child immunologist/allergist and consultant pediatrician Dr Amir Hamzah Abdul Latiff said it was better for expectant mothers to do this so that obstetricians could collect the necessary data.

"To detect allergies we have to go way back to when the mother is expecting.

"It is better for both parents to disclose what they are allergic to because there is a big chance for the child to have similar allergies from a young age," he said at the launch of the "Live Life Allergy Free" campaign yesterday.

Dr Amir. said there was no official statistics for allergies among Malaysians.

He said if both parents did not have any allergy, there was still a 15 per cent chance that the baby would develop allergies.

"If both parents have allergies, there is a 50 to 80 per cent chance and if the allergy is with either parent, there is a 20 to 40 per cent chance."

Dr Amir also encouraged doctors to collect the data to help allergy specialists to identify children at high risk and to follow up for prevention. The campaign was initiated to increase public awareness of allergies, highlighting the correlation between nose, skin and asthma ailments.

According to the World Allergy Organisation (WAO), there has been a steady increase in the prevalence of allergic diseases globally, with about 30-40 per cent of the world population now being affected by one or more allergic conditions.

This article was first published in on 15 April 2011.

New Straits Times (Page 33)