Exposure to second-hand smoke in the first few weeks of an infant’s life can increase food allergy risks for children, a new study has found. The link is especially well-tied to both egg and peanut allergies. The study followed 3,800 Swedish children from birth to age 16 and the results were presented in a news release by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and presented at the organization’s annual meeting. They were also published in a supplement to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Kids whose parents smoked when the children were up to two months old were far more likely to have an egg or peanut allergy. The study did not confirm that allergies existed, but there were strong indicators such as intolerance during testing and sensitivities reported by parents.

“Early life exposure to secondhand smoke is a well-established risk factor for asthma and, in some studies, for allergic sensitization and eczema in children,” said study co-author Anna Bergstrom of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “However, no studies have prospectively looked at its impact on the risk of pediatric food-related symptoms.”

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