House dust mite test on wheezy toddlers predicts asthma in teen years –

A study led by scientists at the University of Melbourne has shown that wheezy toddlers with sensitivity to the house dust mite are more likely to develop asthma by the age of 12. Lead author Dr Caroline Lodge from the university’s School of Public health led the study on 620 children from birth to age 12. The children were tested at ages one and two for single and multiple sensitivities to milk, egg, peanut, rye grass, cat and house dust mite. They were then tested at age 12 for asthma. The results showed that 75% of the children who had a positive skin prick test to house dust mite had asthma at age 12, compared to 36% without a skin prick test.

The results, whilst they do not suggest why or how the house dust mite causes asthma, are a significant step forward in identifying high risk groups on whom interventions can be trialled.

Source: University of Melbourne

First Published in August 2011

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