The mothers of teenagers with food allergies are more likely than the kids themselves to report they are suffering from emotional and behavioural problems such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - a condition in which a person has trouble paying attention to and focusing on tasks, the findings showed.

In a study involving 1,300 children, the researchers found that about a third of teenagers with food allergies reported that they had emotional and behavioural problems.

However, more than 46 percent of their mothers reported the problems faced by these children.

When the same teenagers were 21 years old, 44 percent of those with food allergy reported emotional and behavioural problems, and they were twice as likely as their non-allergic peers to have symptoms of depression that had persisted from adolescence.

The study has been published online by medical journal Allergy.


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