Association between childhood allergic disease, psychological comorbidity, and injury requiring medical attention

Nitin Garg, Jonathan I. Silverberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Background Children with allergic disease have multiple risk factors for accidental injuries. Objective To determine the prevalence of injuries requiring medical treatment in US children with allergic disease. Methods The authors analyzed data from the 2007 to 2008 National Survey of Children's Health, including a nationally representative sample of 27,556 children 0 to 5 years old. Results The prevalence (95% confidence interval [CI]) of at least 1 allergic disease was 29.4% (28.0-30.8); 6.6% (5.8-7.4) were diagnosed with asthma, 15.0% (14.0-16.0) with eczema, 11.6% (10.6-12.6) with hay fever, and 6.1% (5.4-6.9) with food allergy. Children with allergic disorders had higher odds of at least 1 comorbid psychiatric and behavioral disorder (PBD; survey logistic regression; odds ratio 2.93, 95% CI 2.13-4.03), including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (4.75, 2.89-7.80), depression (6.03, 1.29-28.27), anxiety (5.54, 2.70-11.37), conduct/oppositional defiant disorder (2.97, 1.88-4.70), and learning delay (2.49, 1.70-3.66), but not autism/Asperger disorder (1.89, 0.98-3.64). The prevalence of injury in the past year requiring medical attention was 10.5% (95% CI 9.5-11.4). The association between allergic disease and injury requiring medical attention was mediated in part by a PBD (Sobel test 0.0021, 95% CI 0.0014-0.0029, P <.0001; bootstrapping approach, indirect effects, odds ratio 1.005, 95% CI 1.003-1.007; Baron-Kenny β(yx,m) = 0.04, P <.0001, R2 = 0.002). However, children with at least 1 allergic disorder (1.74, 1.23-2.46), including eczema (1.59, 1.01-2.50), asthma (1.91, 1.10-3.31), hay fever (2.05, 1.24-3.39), and food allergies (2.00, 1.10-3.67), had higher odds of sustaining injuries even after controlling for comorbid PBDs and medical disorders. Conclusion The results suggest that the association between allergic disease and injury is multifactorial, including being secondary to PBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-532
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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