Study Explores Possible Link Between Asthma and Peanut Allergy
A new study suggests that families may not realize their child suffers from a peanut allergy because its symptoms resemble an asthma attack.
The researchers looked at records of over 1,500 children who had visited the pediatric respiratory clinic at the Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. Ten percent of these children tested positive for peanut sensitivity. However, only 47 percent of the children’s families were aware of the peanut allergy.
“Many of the respiratory symptoms of peanut allergy can mirror those of an asthma attack, and vice versa. Examples of those symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing,” said lead author Robert Cohn.
But Dr. Samantha Walker urged caution in interpreting the study’s findings. “Allergy food tests are notoriously unreliable,” she said.
“Asthma… is a complex condition and years of research underfunding means it remains a relative mystery. Many people have positive allergy tests but can eat peanuts safely—and so it is unsurprising that many people tested for this research did not know they would have a positive test result,” she continued.
“Children with asthma and food allergy together are at increased risk of a severe asthma attack and so should be monitored carefully to keep their asthma under control.”
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