Cancer in the family increases the risk of asthma in the offspring

Cancer in the family increases the risk of asthma in the offspring

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Family history of cancer increases the risk of asthma

Genetic components play a role in the development of cancer. An American research team has now found a link between certain genetic factors that increase the risk of cancer within a family while increasing the likelihood that children will develop asthma in childhood.

In a recent study, researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) showed a connection between a family history of cancer and childhood asthma diagnosis. The team recently presented its results at the ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting 2019 in Houston.

Link between cancer and asthma discovered

Both cancer and asthma are common diseases. The ACAAI researchers recently found that there is a connection between these two diseases. "We used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2012 to 2016 to track information about children diagnosed with asthma," said immunology and allergy specialist Sairaman Nagarajan, who is also the lead author of the study .

20 percent more asthma cases

"Of the more than 57,000 children whose information we examined, more than 20 percent of those who had a family history of cancer had a diagnosis of asthma," said Nagarajan. Because of the large number of respondents, these results reflect the entire US population and are therefore significant for the whole of America.

Do the results count for Germany?

It was not examined whether the same connection exists in Germany. If there is actually a genetic connection between the two diseases, the same situation is likely in Germany.

Inform the pediatrician

"If a parent knows that there is a family history of cancer, it should be reported to the pediatrician or allergist," says Nagarajan. In this way, special attention can be paid to asthma screening. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI): Family history of cancer associated with asthma diagnosis in children (accessed: November 8, 2019),

Video: The Role of Family History in Breast Cancer (August 2022).