Current studies are showing a link between ADHD and asthma. The results are supported by the combined findings from a meta-analysis and a Swedish population-based study.
“From a clinical and public health perspective, awareness of a significant association between these two conditions would prompt ADHD specialists to refer patients with early forms of asthma, and asthma specialists to refer patients with problems of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, for appropriate assessment, thus helping to reduce the diagnostic delay that is of concern for both ADHD and asthma,” writes Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD, from the Center for Innovation in Mental Health, University of Southampton, and the division of psychiatry and applied psychology, University of Nottingham School of Medicine, and colleagues.
The investigators conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical databases for observational studies that examined the link between asthma and ADHD. The researchers then performed a population-based study of individuals in Swedish registers to simultaneously control for all relevant cofounders varying across studies.
Over 2,600 citations were collected and 49 datasets were obtained, including 210,363 participants with ADHD and over three million without. The results showed a significant relationship between ADHD and asthma.
“Overall, our study highlights the importance of considering associated systemic somatic dysfunctions in neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and adds to the current debate around the integration of mental health and general medical care,” writes Cortese and colleagues. “From a scientific perspective, the link between ADHD and asthma lends support to the possible involvement of inflammatory mechanisms in the pathophysiology of ADHD. Further longitudinal studies, rigorously controlling for possible confounders, are needed.”
This piece is based on an article from Psychiatric Annals, which can be found here.