Peanut Allergy
(IN PHOTO)Students from Heritage K-8 Charter School enjoy glasses of milk after eating parts of a 51-foot (16m) peanut butter and jelly sandwich on National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day in Escondido, California April 2, 2014. REUTERS

A new research indicates that children with asthma might also be sensitive to peanut allergy. Although, the researchers are of opinion that there is lack of substantial research based proof that might establish a link between childhood asthma and peanut allergy in the past, the current study suggests that many children and their parents remain unaware of this problem because most of the respiratory symptoms of peanut allergy are similar to those of an asthma attack, and vice versa. Examples of such symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.

The study lead author, Dr. Robert Cohn medical director of Pulmonary Medicine at Dayton Children’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, addressed the reporters at the American Thoracic Society and said that he is not sure as to what is the underlying mechanism behind the link between asthma and peanut allergy and more research is required on this particular subject. He and his team carried out their analysis on 1,517 children who had been diagnosed with asthma at Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. It was observed among these children that about 11% knew they had a peanut allergy. Also, 22 percent of children who came back for a blood test to screen themselves for any peanut allergies, tested positive for it.

According to researchers, these children were unaware that they had any allergy or sensitivity to peanuts further indicating the importance for awareness among those who work with children suffering from asthma. Cohn explains that allergy to a food component might trigger severe anaphylaxis in children with asthma and might prove to be fatal. Therefore, such cases might benefit by taking a test for peanut sensitivity, especially those with little or no control over wheezing and coughing.

Cohn further elaborates by saying, “I don’t think children with peanut allergies would be misdiagnosed with asthma. It is most likely the other way around. Children with asthma might not be recognized as having a peanut sensitivity. Parents of children with asthma should understand that there may be asthma medicines that are not advised in children with peanut allergies.”

The study was presented at the American Thoracic Society 2015 International Conference held in Denver, Colorado, USA, which concluded by saying that all the children who suffer from asthma along with some type of food allergy should be monitored carefully to avoid serious implications of anaphylactic shock since they are more vulnerable to asthmatic attack.

To contact the writer,