According to research published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, children exposed to laxatives in utero or in infancy had a higher prevalence of allergic disease development later in life, including allergic rhinitis.

According to the results, early-life laxative exposure was independently associated with allergic disease development in nearly all subgroups of children (adjusted HR = 1.61; 95% CI, 1.32-1.97). The researchers found that among the L-cohort, the 5-year cumulative incidence of allergic diseases was 49.81%, compared with 41.68% for the R-cohort (P= .014).

The prevalence of allergic rhinitis (38.1% vs. 30.8%), atopic dermatitis (4.9% vs. 2.4%) and asthma (5.9% vs. 3.5%) was higher in the L-cohort, but only the difference for allergic rhinitis met statistical significance.

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