Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that the majority of school-aged children with asthma also reported having allergic rhinitis, popularly known as hay fever.
Children with both asthma and hay fever had worse asthma outcomes, according to the study by Jessica Stern, M.D., an assistant professor in the departments of pediatrics and pediatric allergy and immunology.
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that the majority of school-aged children with asthma also reported having allergic rhinitis, popularly known as hay fever. In addition to aggravating asthma, hay fever symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and sinus pressure.
The Journal of Asthma published the study’s findings.
This study examined information from three NIH-funded trials including 1,029 Rochester schoolchildren with asthma that were coordinated by Jill Halterman, M.D., a professor in the department of paediatrics. The trials’ main objective was to determine whether giving children preventive asthma drugs while they were in school would lessen their asthma symptoms.
While the majority of the children taking part in these trials experienced reduced asthma symptoms after receiving their medications, a small portion of children did not. This led the researchers to consider additional health issues that might have hindered the kids from responding fully to treatment.
“Through our study, we found that many of the children who did not report improved symptoms had allergic rhinitis in addition to asthma, and these children had more asthma symptoms, used their rescue medication more, and missed more school days compared to those without allergic rhinitis,” said Stern.
It’s significant that less than half of the kids with hay fever were getting the required anti-histamines and nasal sprays for their symptoms, nor had they seen asthma or allergy experts.
“This is critical because it highlights gaps in care and needed treatments, which may contribute to the disparities in asthma outcomes that we see in children who primarily identify as Black or Latino, or are from low resourced communities,” said Stern. “These findings also encourage a focus on contributing environmental factors and the social determinants of health for these children. The burden of allergic disease is often under-recognized and undertreated in historically marginalized populations, and we have an opportunity and obligation to address this to improve outcomes.”