HealthDay News — For boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the likelihoods of asthma, impetigo, and any antihistamine drug prescriptions are independently increased, researchers have found.

Eelko Hak, PhD, from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a case-control study among boys using the U.K. General Practice Research Database to examine whether children with ADHD are more likely to have a history of atopic disorders, skin infections and medical prescriptions. The cohort included 884 boys with a first-time diagnosis of drug-treated ADHD and 3,536 controls. The findings were published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

After adjusting for age and the presence of low birth weight or preterm delivery, the independent odds ratios were 1.4 for a medical history of asthma, 1.5 for impetigo, and 1.5 for any antihistamine drug prescriptions (P<0.001 for all).

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In cases versus controls, cow’s milk intolerance and any prescription from the anti-asthmatic, respiratory corticosteroid, topical steroid, anti-bacterial or anti-fungal drug categories were more common, although not independently so.

“Despite possible limitations inherent to observational studies, this study lends support to the emerging evidence that childhood ADHD is associated with atopic diseases and impetigo,” the researchers wrote. “Further interdisciplinary research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms and to evaluate targeted preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions.”


  1. Hak E et al. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013; 111(2): 102-106.e2.