University Professor Makes Groundbreaking Link between Gender and Allergies


Dr Syed Hasan Ashard

Professor Syed Hasan Arshad, Professor of allergy and immunology at the University of Southampton and  consultant in Allergy and Immunology at Southampton General Hospital, has discovered a link between gender and allergies suffered after assessing 1,456 patients with his team of researchers.

Professor Ashard, who is also Director of the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre on the Isle of Wight, has discovered that allergies, including eczema and asthma, are passed down dependent on gender, after the assessment of  test subjects who were recruited from birth.

It has been long known that allergies can be passed down through families, but it was unclear if there was a gender role in the inheritance of a condition.

However, research found that the risk of asthma in boys significantly increased only if their fathers also suffered fro the same condition. The same pattern was found with female family members, with mothers only passing the risk onto their daughters, rather than their sons.

The same risk pattern can be seen with eczema, with a 50 percent chance of the allergy increasing in girls if their mother suffered from the condition, and likewise with fathers and sons.

Professor Ashard said:

With these groundbreaking findings, we should see a change in the way we assess a child’s risk of disease, asking girls for the allergy history of their mother and boys for that of their father.

The research could prompt further questions to be asked about the role of gender in allergic reactions and skin conditions, with further research now being possible in the area.


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