Childhood Wheezing, Allergies May Lead to Adult Asthma

Published Online: Saturday, April 1, 2006

A 12-year study of 291 participants found that children with airway hyperresponsiveness and allergy symptoms have greater odds of developing asthma in adulthood. When the study commenced in 1986, the participants were aged 7 to 17. The group provided information on asthma, allergies, and lifestyle in 1986 and again in 1998. They also completed asthma and allergy testing.

In the initial enrollment, 4% of the group had asthma. This number rose to nearly 12% by the second survey. Reporting in Chest (February 2006), the researchers said that wheezing in childhood increased the risk of asthma and allergic sensitization to house dust mites in adulthood by more than 3 times. Having dermatitis during childhood also increased the risk of adult asthma.

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