Troubled Breathing may Predict ADHD

Childhood asthma increases risks of adolescent ADHD

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Attention deficit - hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has a lot of genetic cousins, ranging from autism to diarrhea. Researchers have recently added childhood asthma to the list.

Swedish researchers have uncovered a relationship between childhood asthma and ADHD in adolescence, though the workings of this association remain a mystery.

"Adolescent ADHD and childhood asthma are connected."

Investigators were particularly interested in seeing if there was a connection between childhood asthma and two characteristics of ADHD - hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention.

The study tracked 1,480 pairs of Swedish twins born in 1985 and 1986. Their birth data was collected from the Swedish Medical Birth Register, and parents completed questionnaires when the children were aged 8–9 and 13–14 year.

Here's what researchers learned:

  • Children who had asthma at age 8 or 9 were twice as likely to have hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms at the age of 13-14 than children who didn't have asthma
  • There was no relationship between childhood asthma and inattention.

Researchers said this relationship may in part be the result of genetic influences.

This research is published in the journal Allergy.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 12, 2011
Last Updated:
August 15, 2011