Allergies, asthma may be linked to ADHD

A new study has found that boys diagnosed with attention deficit/hpyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have asthma, allergies and skin infections than those who do not have the diagnosis.

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Boys with ADHD were 40 percent more likely to have asthma, 50 percent more likely to have a prescription allergy medication, and 50 percent more likely to have had a bacterial skin infection.

The study was published in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and its authors are calling for more research into the links to determine just how these conditions might be connected. The study was conducted by Eelko Hak of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands as well as collaborators in Boston.

The researchers report that with the rise in ADHD diagnoses and the parallel rise in atopic (allergic) diseases, the two could possibly be more intimately linked than otherwise thought.

Research used a study from the United Kingdom which obtained a database of about 900 boys aged 4 through 14, diagnosed with ADHD during the study. These were compared to a control group of 3,500 children without an ADHD diagnosis.

The most common problems were asthma, impetigo and a need for allergy medications. Associations with food-based allergies were weaker.

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