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Ann Epidemiol. 2013 Apr;23(4):185-8. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.12.015. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Association between atopic diseases and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in childhood: a population-based case-control study.

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Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.



Both atopic diseases (AD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) are common pediatric disorders that may lead to mental and physical complications. This population-based, case-control design is to correlate the risk of ADHD with AD among a pediatric population.


By using a Longitudinal Health Insurance Database ranged from 2002 to 2009, 4692 children with ADHD and 18,768 randomly selected controls were enrolled. Odds ratios (OR) of ADHD were calculated for the association with AD.


The children with ADHD had a higher rate of AD than controls, particularly allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis. The corresponding ORs were 1.81 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.69-1.93) and 1.69 (95% CI, 1.58-1.81), respectively. Despite the lower prevalence, children with atopic dermatitis and asthma were also at higher risk of ADHD, with ORs of 1.80 (95% CI, 1.58-2.05) and 1.48 (95% CI, 1.24-1.78). Logistic regression analysis estimated ORs showed ADHD risk was higher for those living in urban areas. The risk of ADHD increased with numbers of AD and age.


Most of the children with ADHD had a strong association with AD, especially allergic rhinitis. Awareness of these comorbidities may help clinicians to provide better comprehensive management and reduce the burden of disease.

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