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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The associations between ADHD and asthma in Korean children

Ho Jang Kwon12, Mi Young Lee3, Mina Ha12, Seung Jin Yoo1, Ki Chung Paik14, Jong-Han Lim5, June Sakong6, Chul-Gab Lee7, Dong-Muk Kang8, Soo Jong Hong9, Hwan Il Cho14 and Myung Ho Lim14*

Author Affiliations

1 Environmental Health Center, Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Korea

2 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea

3 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea

4 Department of Psychology and Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Dankook University, 359 Manghyang Rho, Cheonan 300-714, South Korea

5 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea

6 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Yeongnam University, Daegu, Korea

7 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Kwangju, Korea

8 Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Pusan University, Pusan, Korea

9 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Ulsan University, Ulsan, Korea

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BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14:70  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-70

Published: 10 March 2014

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the most common neuropsychiatric disorder in school children, and childhood allergic disease by evaluating their respective prevalence.

Methods

Subjects were comprised of first and second grade students in twenty two elementary schools in a city in the Republic of Korea. The mode of measurement for ADHD was based on DSM-IV from clinical interviews conducted by child psychiatrists. Along with the diagnostic interviews, we also used the epidemiological questionnaires, Computerized Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder Diagnostic System, the abbreviated Conner’s Parent Rating Scale (CPRS), and DuPaul’s ADHD Rating Scales. Allergic conditions, such as asthma, have been separately evaluated based on the questionnaire items whose validity and reliability were proved by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children (ISAAC). All questionnaires were completed by the subjects’ parents.

Results

The lifetime prevalence rate of asthma in ADHD patients was 36.6%, compared to a prevalence of 24.3% in control subjects. The lifetime prevalence rate of allergic rhinitis in ADHD patients was 59.0%, compared to a prevalence of 47.0% in control subjects. Statistically significant difference has been found between the two groups. In the logistic regression model of the ADHD and the control group, the relative risk of asthma was 1.60 times higher (confidence interval 1.301-1.964), the relative risk of allergic rhinitis was 1.38 times higher (confidence interval 1.124-1.681), which showed statistical significance.

Conclusions

The findings of this study suggest significant association between ADHD and childhood asthma and allergic rhinitis. Therefore, appropriate evaluation and treatment are needed for asthmatic children with attention-deficit symptoms, or allergic rhinitis with ADHD. Besides, further research is needed to determine the etiological approach towards ADHD, asthma, and allergic rhinitis.

Keywords:
ADHD; Asthma; Allergic rhinitis; Children