Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Allergies, Asthma Show Links to ADHD: Study

THURSDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Boys diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more likely also to have asthma, allergies and skin infections than youngsters without ADHD, a new study finds, suggesting a possible link between these conditions.

Of those in the study, boys newly diagnosed with ADHD were 40 percent more likely to have asthma, 50 percent more likely to have needed a prescription for allergy medicine and 50 percent more likely to have had a bacterial skin infection than other boys.

"Our study provides additional evidence to support the hypothesis that atopic disorders, such as asthma and food allergies increase the risk of developing ADHD," the authors wrote, adding that further research is necessary to determine just how these conditions might be connected.

Their results were published in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

ADHD, a chronic mental health condition involving difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, affects as many as 9 percent of American children, according to background information in the study conducted by Eelko Hak, of the University of Groningen, and colleagues in the Netherlands and Boston.

The increase in the prevalence of ADHD has been paralleled by an increase in allergic (also called atopic) diseases, such as asthma and allergies, the researchers reported. They also noted that environmental risk factors, such as foods that cause an allergic reaction, may trigger symptoms of both ADHD and allergic asthma.

To get a better idea of whether or not there actually is an association between these conditions, the researchers used data from a large U.K. study. Within that database, the researchers found nearly 900 boys who were first diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medication for the condition between 1996 and 2006. All of the boys were between 4 and 14 years old when first diagnosed.

The researchers compared the children with ADHD to about 3,500 children without the condition.

After adjusting the data to account for age, and for low birth weight or premature birth, they found significant relationships between the diagnosis of ADHD and a history of asthma, impetigo or a prescription for antihistamines (allergy medicines).

They also found weaker associations between ADHD and cow's milk intolerance, and prescriptions for oral or topical corticosteroids, antibacterial or antifungal drugs.

The authors theorize that the links they found may be food-allergy related. However, this study didn't attempt to prove cause and effect, so the exact reason behind the association remains unknown.

Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, said the connection between ADHD and allergic diseases has been seen in other studies.

"The association seems to be real. The chicken-and-the-egg question remains unanswered. The challenge is in teasing out why they're linked," he said.

For her part, Dr. Jennifer Appleyard, chief of allergy and immunology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, said, "This is an interesting, but very early study. They're definitely not showing cause and effect."

Appleyard pointed out that impetigo and milk intolerance aren't typically considered allergic diseases. Impetigo is a bacterial infection of the skin. And, a milk intolerance isn't the same as an allergy to milk.

"They looked at food allergies, too, and they didn't find an association. They also didn't find an association with atopic dermatitis [eczema], and impetigo is not necessarily correlated with an allergic reaction," she said.

The bottom line, she said, is that parents don't need to have any additional fears from this study. She added that parents of children with asthma or allergies shouldn't start worrying that their children will develop ADHD -- and parents definitely shouldn't make any changes to medications because of this study.

"All of these conditions seem to have increased. Let's pursue this link further, but there's no need for any changes right now," Appleyard said.

More information

Learn more about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

SOURCES: Jennifer Appleyard, M.D., chief, allergy and immunology, St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; August 2013 Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Allergy/Immunology
Angela Duff Hogan, MD
Cynthia Kelly, MD
Kelly Maples, MD
Maripaz Morales, MD
Dermatology
Judith Williams, MD
Health Tips
A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Child Care
ADHD Drugs Safe, Experts Say
Boost Your Teen Daughter’s Body Image
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Could Your Child Have a Drug Problem?
Do Parents Influence Their Kids’ Health Behaviors?
Growing Up Short or Heavy Can Be Difficult
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Help Your Babysitter Prepare for Anything
Helping Children Conquer Fear
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?
How to Prevent Childhood Obesity
How to Talk About Drugs With Your Kids
Keeping Your Cool When Parenting Teens
Kids' Health Concerns Ease with Age
Making Rules for Children Reinforces Love
Making This School Year Your Child's Best Ever
Medications to Treat ADHD in Children
New Parents...Sore Backs
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Paying for Attention: Abuse of Prescription ADHD Drugs Rising on College Campuses
Preparing Your Daughter for Changes
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Solving Battles at Mealtime
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking Sex with Your Teen
Teens and Talk: What's a Parent to Do?
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies
What Kids Drink Is Important, Too
What You Need to Know About Hives
When Children Say 'No' to New Foods
When to Call the Doctor for Childhood Illnesses
When Your Child Says, 'I'm Sick'
Quizzes
Allergies Quiz
Food Allergy Quiz
Diseases & Conditions
AIDS/HIV in Children
All About Allergies in Children
Allergy
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Animals
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma and Children
Asthma in Children Index
Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children
Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboarding Safety--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
Bipolar Disorder in Children
Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Child Care
Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?
Diagnostic Procedures for Allergy in Children
Diphtheria in Children
Discipline
During an Asthma Attack
Dust Mites
Egg Allergy Diet for Children
Ewing Sarcoma
Firearms
Food Allergies in Children
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
Immune Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Insect Stings
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Milk Allergy Diet for Children
Mold
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis in Children
Osteosarcoma in Children
Peanut Allergy Diet for Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Poliomyelitis (Polio) in Children
Pollen and Children
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Shellfish Allergy Diet for Children
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Soy Allergy Diet for Children
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Symptomatic Conditions of Allergy in Children
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Treatment for a Child's Allergy
Tree Nut Allergy Diet for Children
Types of Allergens
Vision Overview
Wheat Allergy Diet for Children
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.