It’s well known there’s a genetic component to cancer, and that cancer often runs in families. A new study being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Houston shows an association between a family history of cancer and a childhood asthma diagnosis.
“We used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2012-2016 to track information on children who have been diagnosed with asthma,” says allergy and immunology fellow Sairaman Nagarajan, MD, lead author of the study. “Of the more than 57,000 children whose information we examined, more than 20 percent of those who had a family history of cancer had an asthma diagnosis.”
The children represented in the survey were 51 percent male and 49 percent female. The children with asthma were older (10 years vs 8 years) than the children without asthma.
“The NHIS survey reflects the US population, and because of the large number of those surveyed, the findings are significant for people across the country,” says allergist Rauno Joks, MD, ACAAI member and co-author of the study. “If a parent knows there is a family history of cancer, they should be sure to tell their pediatrician and allergist, as an extra effort at asthma screening could be valuable in diagnosing and treating childhood asthma.”
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