FROM THE JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS
Children who are diagnosed with atopic dermatitis before the age of 2 are more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to Tzu-Chu Liao and associates.
Of the 387,262 children diagnosed with atopic dermatitis (AD) before the age of 2 included in the study, 0.5% were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and 3.7% were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the control group, 0.4% were diagnosed with ASD, and 2.9% were diagnosed with ADHD. The hazard ratios for children exposed to atopic disorders before the age of 2 were 1.1 for ASD and 1.16 for ADHD.
Among children diagnosed early with AD, being male was the most significant risk factor for developing ASD (HR, 4.92) or ADHD (HR, 3.28). An urban/suburban residence was also a significant risk factor, as was persistent AD and emerging atopic respiratory disease in childhood.
“These findings suggest a possible etiologic communality between the diagnosis of allergic disorders along with comorbid ASD or ADHD. The atopic diathesis approach might influence the attention of child psychiatrists and pediatricians toward the diagnosis of ASD and ADHD. Further attention should be given to the management of allergic manifestations when treating symptoms of ASD and ADHD,” the investigators concluded.
Find the study in the Journal of Pediatrics (doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.12.063 ).