Boys with asthma or allergies have an increased risk of developing ADHD, reports a study published August 13. The risk of developing ADHD rises further if the boys have milk allergies. Researchers from the Netherlands and Boston conducted the study, which is published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) affects about 11 percent of American children, according to the New York Times. The number of children diagnosed with ADHD has increased “41 percent in the last decade.” Boys are four times more likely to get ADHD than girls reports the National Institute for Mental Health.
Four thousand three hundred boys participated in this study. Eight hundred eighty boys had ADHD. Of the boys with ADHD, “34 percent had asthma and 35 percent had an allergic disorder.”
“ADHD, a chronic mental health disorder, is most commonly found in males, while asthma is also more common in young boys than girls,” said Eelko Hak, lead study author. “We found there is an increased risk of ADHD in boys with a history of asthma and an even stronger risk associated with milk intolerance.”
The reason for the increased risk of ADHD needs further research according to Dr.Gailen Marshall, MD, editor-in-chief of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Dr. Marshall added, “Medications for these conditions far outweigh the risks, and can be life-saving in some conditions. Treatment should not be stopped, unless advised by a board-certified allergist.”
The title of this study is “Association of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with atopic diseases and skin infections? A matched case-control study using the General Practice Research Database.”