Allergic rhinitis in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Ashley Brawley, Bernard Silverman, Shannon Kearney, Denise Guanzon, Mark Owens, Harvey Bennett, Arlene Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Background: Both allergic rhinitis and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are common pediatric conditions associated with learning difficulties and sleep disturbances. There are conflicting research data regarding the association between ADHD and atopic disorders. Objective: To determine the prevalence of allergic rhinitis in patients with physician-diagnosed ADHD. Methods: Patients 5 to 18 years of age who presented with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition diagnosis of ADHD to an outpatient pediatric psychiatry clinic were screened for allergic rhinitis with focused history, physical examination, and skin prick testing to common aeroallergens. Results: Thirty patients were interviewed, with 23 of these undergoing physical examination and skin prick testing. Eighty percent reported allergic rhinitis symptoms, whereas 61% had at least 1 positive prick skin test result. Forty-three percent showed typical physical signs of allergic rhinitis, 100% had a positive atopic family history, and 53% had other associated atopic disorders. Conclusions: Most children with ADHD displayed symptoms and skin prick test results consistent with allergic rhinitis. Nasal obstruction and other symptoms of allergic rhinitis could explain some of the cognitive patterns observed in ADHD, which might result from sleep disturbance known to occur with allergic rhinitis. Therefore, evaluation and treatment of allergic rhinitis could benefit patients with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-667
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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