Wheezy toddlers who are allergic to house dust mites are more at risk of developing asthma by the age of 12, according to Australian researchers.
Children aged one - two years with a family history of allergy, who had a positive skin prick test to house dust mites, had a higher risk of developing asthma later in life.
Results showed 75 percent of these children had asthma at aged 12 compared to 36 percent of children without a positive skin prick test.
Lead author Dr Caroline Lodge from the University of Melbourne's School of Population Health said the identification of house dust mites as a predictor for asthma in high risk children, is a significant step forward in identifying high risk groups on whom we can trial interventions.
"Our findings provide researchers with a more targeted group of at risk children, for investigating strategies to prevent asthma later in life," she said.
"House dust mite sensitivity amongst wheezy toddlers could be used as a clinical tool to assist parents in understanding the risk of asthma in their children.
"Although currently there is no known intervention to stop asthma developing, identifying children at higher risk may lead to more tailored treatments of wheeze in this high risk group," Dr Lodge added.