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Can Parents Predict Childhood Asthma?

Parents often ask if their child is at risk to develop asthma.  Are there any tests that predict the likelihood of asthma?  Australian researchers reported data from the Melbourne Atopy Cohort which is a large study comprised of 620 babies.  They found that the children who were skin test positive to dust mites at age 1 and 2 years old had at least a two times larger likelihood of wheezing by age 12.  Surprisingly, kids who were sensitive to multiple allergens but not dust mites did not have the same risk.  This suggests that dust mite sensitization is a harbinger of the development of asthma irrespective of other allergens.  Dust mites are a very common allergen here in Kansas City.  They like a lot of humidity and humidity likes Kansas City!

Source:Lodge CJ, Lowe AJ, Gurrin LC, et al: House dust mite sensitization in toddlers predicts current wheeze at age 12 years.  J Allergy Clin Immunology.  2011; 128:782-788.

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