I have been writing a piece on histamines for nearly a month now, it is to the point where another half hour and I will be done, but I have lost interest now that all the research is done. So I have been finding other things to do in what can only be described as a procrastination masterclass.
A couple of weeks ago I was on the CAN (Children’s Allergy Network) Facebook group and noticed that there was nearly 500 people in the group now, wow, such a great pool of parents and carers, all with children or grandchildren with allergies and related conditions. The scientist and stats geek in me wanted to make a giant database and see what common links we all have and see if we can learn more, but then I thought, why the hell not, with their permission of course!
I spoke to the CAN founder and set up another closed Facebook group called CAN Research Group, within 8 hours I had 15 people in the group, without advertising I thought that was a great start. Over the next week I recruited a few family members and recruited from the main CAN group and at the time of writing we now have 72 members which I think is pretty decent.
We finished our first quick poll this week and are already onto the next (anaphylaxis) whilst I get to grips with the more in depth survey makers that I had imagined. This week we looked at links between parents conditions and those of their children.
We asked the group,
“Thinking of your family, which best describes you? (atopic conditions include hayfever, asthma and eczema, please answer yes even if you have one of the above and the condition is mild)”
We had 42 responses to our first mini poll (where some people voted more than once as they have children with different partners).
43% of parents both had allergies or related atopic conditions, 48% had one partner with an allergy or atopic condition and 9% of parents were allergy free.
When both parents had allergies at least one of their children had an allergic condition of some sort.
For children with one allergy free parent there seemed to be a higher than expected risk, 85%, of having allergic offspring.
When parents had no allergies, we may expect that their children would have no atopic conditions, but half of those parents still had at least one child with an allergic condition or related atopy.
The no allergy parent and children group was much smaller than anticipated as some of those recruited actually had one partner with an allergic condition (which is not surprising as we recruited a lot of controls from our families).
Please like us on the CAN Research Group Facebook page to view updates. If you are a parent or carer of a child with allergies and wish to help us with our research please feel free to join the closed survey group.
Now I swear I will get back to writing about histamines (or maybe start on next week’s survey).