Asthmatic children with peanut allergies may have more and worse asthma attacks than those without.

A study by the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware has found that among 160 5–18-year-olds with asthma seen at their centre, the 46 with peanut allergies had more hospitalizations for asthma and a higher rate of treatment with oral than the children without. For example 23% of the allergic asthmatic children, compared to 16% of the just asthmatic children, had been hospitalized for asthma after the age of 3, while 37% of the asthmatic only children had been able to do without oral corticosteroids, only 28% of the allergic asthmatic children had been able to do so.

Researchers warned that parents of children with both asthma and peanut allergy should be particularly sure to work with their child's doctor to keep the asthma well-controlled.

It is not clear why children with peanut allergy tended to have more problems with asthma control. Although the findings point to an association between peanut allergy and more asthma attacks but do not prove that the food allergy is the cause.

Journal of Pediatrics, online February 15, 2010.

Courtesy of Reuters Health

First Published in March 2010

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