Childhood Allergies Linked To Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Allergies are something that everyone should take seriously. For parents with children who have asthma, hay fever, eczema or other allergy-related condition, your kids are at higher risk of developing a heart disease at a young age, a new study revealed.

According to The Huffington Post, researchers found out that kids with such allergies are at greater odds of being overweight and obese, which are risk factors for heart disease, compared to children without allergic conditions.

The group also learned that children and teens with asthma or hay fever are twice as likely to have high blood and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease as well.

The findings suggested that allergic disease could have harmful effects on the child's health, said Dr. Jonathan Silverberg, an associate professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. He added that recognizing these harmful effects might help prevent heart disease or treat it early.

The said study involved 13,000 children in the United States. The researchers analyzed the data they collected from parents who answered about their children's health as part of the 2012 National Health Interview Study (NHIS).

From the said data, the researchers found out that about 14 percent of children have asthma, 17 percent have hay fever and 12 percent have eczema. The report suggested that Silverberg conducted another study that was published earlier. The first study revealed that people with eczema have higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, compared to adults without the said condition.

The researchers are not sure about the link between allergies or itch from eczema to a higher risk of heart disease at a younger age. However, several mechanisms might explain it.

It could be the harmful effects of inflammation that occurs in children with allergic disease, Silverberg told Live Science. The link could also be due to lower levels of physical activity and a greater rate of obesity in children with asthma and allergic disease, he added.

In a separate report from Live Science, they suggested the following tips to avoid allergies.

  1. Avoid self-medication - See an allergist who can pinpoint exactly what your allergies are to give you the proper medication.
  2. Do not open the windows - Opening windows allows pollens to get in which could trigger allergies.
  3. Protect your eyes - Several pollens can enter the body through eyes, so block them with sunglasses and use eye rinses.
  4. Avoid food that can trigger your allergies - For example, a person with a birth pollen allergy may develop allergy symptoms from eating apples, almond or hazelnuts. Thus, it is best to avoid these foods to prevent symptoms.

Parents keep your children healthy. What do you do when your children have allergies? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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