An allergy skin prick test of four common indoor allergens—cat, cockroach, dog and dust mite—were done on nearly 500 children at ages 1, 2, 3 and 4 years. Then at 7 years old, the children were tested for asthma.
The study found that the kids who always tested positive for cat and dust mite allergies had an increased risk of developing asthma by the age of 7. Researches were unable to find a link between cockroach and dog allergies with the development of asthma.
"More research is needed, but it appears year-to-year skin prick tests may distinguish between allergic children and identify who is at the highest risk for developing asthma," the study's first author, Dr. Jessica Tan, said in news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. "We believe that the patterns of skin testing positive over three years can predict who is more likely to develop asthma by age 7 for children who have family history of allergic diseases."
Tan said that based on the findings, allergies to cats and dust mites may be risk factors for developing asthma, along with a parental history of asthma, wheezing caused by viral illness, and eczema.