In the largest genetic study conducted into the condition, researchers found that asthma causes allergies and not the other way around.
The study conducted by the Imperial College London and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, used 26 thousand subjects to carry out over half a million genetic tests. The researchers found, as a result of their studies, that asthma causes damage to the airways and hence leads to various allergies.
The researchers also made a distinction between childhood asthma and adult onset asthma and went on to advice allergy sufferers to actually get help to find asthma medication rather than try and avoid allergens.
Researchers found that genes were detected in one third of children who had asthma – some linked to breathing and some that activated the immune system. This puts clinicians in a better position to correct their functioning.
The researchers are now examining other factors, such as the factors that result in damage to airways among asthmatics. They will also be examining factors that protect against asthma in some cases.
Some experts however are not convinced by the conclusions that this study has put forward. The understanding is that asthma is a result of a combination of factors – both environmental and genetic.