Psychiatric disorders and symptoms severity in pre-school children with cow's milk allergy

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2016 Sep-Oct;44(5):445-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2016.03.001. Epub 2016 May 27.


Background: Psychiatric disorders are seen frequently in atopic diseases. The present study aims to evaluate the frequency of psychiatric disorders and the severity of psychiatric symptoms in pre-school children with cow's milk allergy.

Methods: The parents of the pre-school children with cow's milk allergy were interviewed in person and asked to fill out the Early Childhood Inventory-4 form.

Results: The cow's milk allergy group included 40 children (27 male, 13 female) with mean age, 44.5±14.7 months, and the control group included 41 children (25 male, 16 female) with mean age, 47.6±15.2 months. It was established that 65% of the group with cow's milk allergy received at least one psychiatric diagnosis, while 36.6% of the control group received at least one psychiatric diagnosis, with a statistically significant difference (p=0.02). Within the psychiatric disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (odds ratio: 4.9, 95% CI: 1.472-16.856, p=0.006), oppositional defiant disorder (odds ratio: 5.6, 95% CI: 1.139-28.128, p=0.026), and attachment disorder (odds ratio: 4.8, 95% CI: 1.747-13.506, p=0.004) were found significantly higher compared with the healthy control group. When the groups were compared in terms of psychiatric symptom severity scores, calculated by using the Early Childhood Inventory-4 form, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders severity (p=0.006) and oppositional defiant disorder severity (p=0.037) were found to be higher in the cow's milk allergy group.

Conclusion: Psychiatric disorders are frequent and severe in pre-school children with cow's milk allergy.

Keywords: Attachment disorder; Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Cow's milk allergy; ECI-4; Oppositional defiant disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cattle
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey / epidemiology