Family history of cancer associated with asthma diagnosis in children

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HOUSTON (Nov.8, 2019) – 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.”

Allergists are specially trained to diagnose and treat asthma and can help your child lead the life they want to live. Find an allergist in your area with the ACAAI allergist locator.

Presentation Title: The Effect of Family Histories of Cancer on Childhood Asthma Diagnoses

Presenter: Sairaman Nagarajan, MD

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For more information about children and asthma, or to locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. The ACAAI Annual Meeting is Nov. 7-11 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. For more news and research from the ACAAI Scientific Meeting, go to our newsroom – and follow the conversation on Twitter #ACAAI19.

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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