Why The Research Is Interesting: A diagnosis of ASD has become more common among U.S. children but it isn’t clear why or what causes ASD. Some studies have suggested immune system dysfunction may potentially play a role. Allergies are common medical conditions of immune dysfunction in children.
Who and When: Data from 199,520 children (ages 3 to 17) who participated in the National Health Interview Survey between 1997 and 2016; food, respiratory and skin allergies were based on a response on a questionnaire by a parent or guardian
What (Study Measures): Parent or guardian response on a questionnaire about whether a child had received a diagnosis of ASD from a physician or other health professional
How (Study Design): This was an observational study using nationally representative data. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control for all the natural differences that could explain the study results.
Authors: Wei Bao, M.D., Ph.D., of College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and coauthors
Results: Children with ASD, compared to children without ASD, were more likely reported to have:
- Food allergy (11.25% vs. 4.25%)
- Respiratory allergy (18.7% vs. 12%)
- Skin allergy (16.8% vs. 9.8%)