Kids with ADHD More Likely to Have Allergies, Asthma
A new study in Korea found that children with ADHD had a 1.6 times greater risk of asthma and a 1.4 times greater risk of nasal allergies than children without ADHD.
The study of more than 4,000 first- and second-graders assessed the lifetime prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis in children with DSM-IV diagnosed ADHD. Results showed the lifetime prevalence rate of asthma in ADHD patients was 36.6% and allergic rhinitis was 59.0%, compared to a prevalence 24.3% (asthma) and 47.0% (allergies) in controls.
The researchers suggest that asthma and allergies may share a pathophysiological mechanism with ADHD. Asthmatic and allergic children have been shown to have poorer school performance and behavior compared to their peers, the authors say, which may be related to hypoxia, sleep disturbances, or the nature of chronic illness.
There was not a significant relationship between ADHD and other allergic conditions, including atopic dermatitis, allergic conjunctivitis, or food allergy.
This study is food for thought, but has many limitations to generalizability, most notably its very specific sample of early elementary students in a handful of cities in Korea. The study was published on April 10 online at BMC Psychiatry (Kwan HJ et al, BMC Psychiatry 2014;14:70;http://bit.ly/1lETfOK).
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