Children with asthma should undergo peanut allergy tests: Study

It has been found in a study that testing for sensitivity to peanuts could help the children suffering from asthma. The study has been conducted on 1,517 children at Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo by Dr. Robert Cohn; these were the children treated for respiratory problems.

On Sunday, the study was put forward at the American Thoracic Society’s international conference in Denver. Dr. Cohn is medical director of pulmonary medicine at Dayton’s Children’s Hospital and the lead author of the study.

There was a confirmed diagnosis of asthma in children, however only 11% were aware regarding their peanut allergy. According to researchers, blood tests for peanut allergy were conducted on 665 of the children, and 22% of those children tested positive for peanut sensitivity.

Common symptoms in both the conditions were wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Children who suffer from asthma could be seriously affected by peanut allergies. Researchers found in a study conducted in 2010 that rate of hospitalization in children with asthma and peanut allergies was two times as high as the rate of children with asthma who were not having peanut allergies. The study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Dr. Anas Al-Yazji, a pediatrician at the University of Toledo Medical Center, co-authored the study. It was found in the Mercy study that several children having asthma were unaware that they had sensitivity to peanuts.

Dr. Cohn said in a statement, “Many of the respiratory symptoms of peanut allergy can mirror those of an asthma attack, and vice versa. This study aimed to evaluate the proportion of asthmatic children who also demonstrated sensitivity to peanuts”.

Dr. Cohn said he is not sure regarding the mechanism behind a connection between asthma and peanut allergies.