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Childhood allergy symptoms increase the risk of behavioral problems: A cross-sectional study
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  • Chikae Yamaguchi,
  • Takeshi Ebara,
  • Masaki Futamura,
  • Yukihiro Ohya,
  • Midori Asano
Chikae Yamaguchi
Nagoya City University Graduate School of Nursing
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Takeshi Ebara
Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences and Medical School
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Masaki Futamura
National Hospital Organization Nagoya Medical Center
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Yukihiro Ohya
National Center for Child Health and Development
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Midori Asano
Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Children with allergic symptoms tend to have behavioral or emotional problems. However, previous studies on this association did not control for factors such as parenting stress, demographic characteristics, or allergy presentation. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between childhood allergic symptoms and behavioral problems, adjusted for confounders such as demographic characteristics, parenting stress, and allergy-related variables. Methods: We conducted an online cross-sectional survey among caregivers of children aged 2-6 years (n=633). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) score was used as the primary measure of children’s behavioral characteristics. Data on history of wheezing, eczema, and rhinitis were collected from the children’s caregivers, using a standardized questionnaire, based on the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Associations were estimated using logistic regression analyses with propensity score to adjust for confounding factors. Results: Univariate analyses showed that history of wheezing was associated with conduct problems, a behavioral component of the SDQ. History of eczema was also associated with hyperactivity. Furthermore, nose symptoms were associated with conduct and emotional problems. After adjusting for potential confounders, history of wheezing (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=1.69, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04-2.75) and nose symptoms (adjusted OR=1.56, 95% CI: 1.05-2.34) remained associated with increased risk of conduct problems. Conclusions: This study revealed that history of wheezing and rhinitis in children are associated with increased risk of behavioral problems, in particular, that of conduct problems. This evidence may inform future research into childhood allergy symptoms and their behavioral problems.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

10 Oct 2020Submitted to Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
28 Oct 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
08 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
16 Dec 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
24 Feb 20211st Revision Received
26 Feb 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Mar 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
18 Mar 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
08 May 20212nd Revision Received
08 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 May 2021Editorial Decision: Accept