Characteristics and severity of asthma in children with and without atopic conditions: A cross-sectional study

Ali Arabkhazaeli, Susanne J. H. Vijverberg, Francine C. van Erp, Jan A. M. Raaijmakers, Cornelis K. van der Ent, Anke H. Maitland van der Zee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Childhood allergic diseases have a major impact on a child's quality of life, as well as that of their parents. We studied the coexistence of reported allergies in children who use asthma medication. Additionally, we tested the hypothesis that asthma severity is greater among children with certain combinations of co-morbid allergic conditions. Methods: For this cross-sectional study, 703 children (ages 4 to 12 years) from the PACMAN cohort study were selected. All of the children were regular users of asthma medication. The study population was divided into nine subgroups according to parental-reported allergies of the child (hay fever, eczema, food allergy or combinations of these). In order to assess whether these subgroups differed clinically, the groups were compared for child characteristics (age, gender, family history of asthma), asthma exacerbations in the past year (oral corticosteroids (OCS) use; asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits), asthma control, fractional exhaled nitric oxide level (FeNO), and antihistaminic usage. Results: In our study, 79.0 % of the parents reported that their child suffered from at least one atopic condition (hay fever, food allergy and eczema), and one quarter of the parents (25.6 %) reported that their child suffered from all three atopic conditions. Having more than one atopic condition was associated with an increased risk of OCS use (OR = 3.3, 95 % CI = 1.6 - 6.6), ED visits (OR = 2.3, 95 % CI = 1.2 - 4.6) in the past year and inadequate short term asthma control (OR = 1.9, 95 % CI = 1.3 - 2.8). Conclusions: Children who use asthma medication often also have other allergic conditions. Parental reported allergies were associated with a higher risk of more severe asthma (more asthma complaints and more asthma exacerbations).
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Pediatrics [E]
Issue number172
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2015


  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Atopic condition
  • Eczema
  • Exacerbation
  • FeNO
  • Food allergy
  • Hay fever
  • allergic disease
  • allergy
  • asthma
  • child
  • childhood
  • cohort analysis
  • cross-sectional study
  • drug therapy
  • eczema
  • emergency ward
  • family history
  • food allergy
  • gender
  • human
  • hypothesis
  • parent
  • pollen allergy
  • population
  • quality of life
  • risk
  • antihistaminic agent
  • corticosteroid
  • nitric oxide


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