FRIDAY, March 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There is evidence for co-occurrence and coaggregation of asthma and type 1 diabetes in children and their siblings, according to a study published online March 13 in JAMA Network Open.

Awad I. Smew, M.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the bidirectional association between asthma and type 1 diabetes among 1,284,748 children born from Jan. 1, 2001, and followed until Dec. 31, 2015. Overall, 121,809 (9.5 percent) had asthma, 3,812 (0.3 percent) had type 1 diabetes, and 494 had both asthma and type 1 diabetes.

The researchers found that within individuals, asthma and type 1 diabetes were associated (odds ratio, 1.15; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.27). The subsequent risk for type 1 diabetes was increased for children with asthma (hazard ratio, 1.16; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.27); however, there was no significant increase in subsequent asthma risk for children with type 1 diabetes (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.75 to 1.12). The risk for type 1 diabetes was increased for siblings of individuals with asthma (odds ratio, 1.27; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.13 to 1.42) and vice versa. After controlling for the direct association of one disease with the other, the results remained positive.

“These findings represent an important step in further understanding the nature of the association between atopic and autoimmune disease and may be of importance in the future clinical management of these patients,” the authors write.

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