Prenatal IgE as a Risk Factor for the Development of Childhood Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Jennifer K. Straughen, Alexandra R. Sitarik, Christine Cole Johnson, Ganesa Wegienka, Dennis R. Ownby, Tisa M. Johnson-Hooper, Ghassan Allo, Albert M. Levin, Andrea E. Cassidy-Bushrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Few studies have examined if maternal allergic disease is associated with an offspring's neurodevelopment. We hypothesized that Th-2 biased maternal immune function assessed as total serum immunoglobulin (Ig) E is associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods: Data are from the Wayne County Health, Environment, Allergy, and Asthma Longitudinal Study (WHEALS), a racially and socioeconomically diverse birth cohort in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan. Maternal total IgE was measured prenatally and at 1-month postpartum. Child total IgE was assessed at birth, 6 months, and 2 years of age. ADHD diagnosis was based on the parental report at the 10–12-year study visits or medical chart abstraction. Total IgE was log2 transformed. Poisson regression models with robust error variance were used to calculate the risk ratios (RR). Inverse probability weighting was used to correct for potential bias due to a loss to follow-up and non-response. Results: Of the 636 maternal-child pairs in the analysis, 513 children were neurotypical and 123 had ADHD. Maternal prenatal total IgE was significantly associated with ADHD even after adjustment for potential confounders (RR = 1.08, 95% CI 1.03–1.13). Maternal and child IgE measures were positively and significantly correlated, but child total IgE was not associated with ADHD at any time point. Conclusions: Maternal prenatal IgE may influence neurodevelopment, but additional studies are needed to confirm and expand these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number601092
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
StatePublished - May 14 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • cohort study
  • immunoglobulin E
  • neurodeveloment
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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