Asthma relates to atopy in some children only after they reach age seven years.
Italian researchers say house dust mite sensitisation may be an important determinant of asthma in these children.
They evaluated the frequency of atopy, asthma and sensitisation to eight common allergens in 1,426 children with allergic symptoms. All of the participants had been referred to the same asthma and allergy centre because of their symptoms.
Investigators from the Seconda Universita di Napoli and the Universita di Verona used standard methods to diagnose bronchial asthma, allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, food allergy and atopic dermatitis in the children. They diagnosed atopy if at least one skin test was positive.
The researchers report that 629 of the children (44 percent) were atopic and a total of 769 children (56 percent) were non-topic. They diagnosed asthma in the same proportion (64 percent) of atopic and non-topic children.