Increased Risk of Tourette Syndrome with Leukotriene Modifier Use in Children with Allergic Diseases and Asthma: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

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Abstract

(1) Background: Cysteinyl leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs), including montelukast and zafirlukast, are FDA-approved for treating pediatric asthma and allergic diseases. Tourette syndrome (TS), a common neuropsychiatric disorder in children, is associated with allergic diseases and asthma. In this study, we investigated the risk of TS following an LTRA prescription for pediatric allergic diseases. (2) Methods: Children younger than 18 years of age who were newly diagnosed with asthma, allergic rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2018 and who were registered in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, which comprises the medical records of nearly 23 million Taiwanese population, were enrolled. LTRA users were matched with randomly selected LTRA non-users by sex, age, asthma-diagnosis year, and urbanization level. In total, 26,984 participants with allergic disease and TS were enrolled and included in the Cox proportional hazards model analysis. (3) Results: Children with allergic disease and asthma treated with LTRAs had a higher risk for TS than LTRA non-users (adjusted hazard ratio 1.376 [95% CI: 1.232–1.536], p < 0.001). LTRA users had a significantly higher risk for TS than LTRA non-users with allergic disease. The cumulative incidence of TS was significantly higher in LTRA users than in non-users with allergic diseases and asthma (log-rank test, p < 0.0001). (4) Conclusion: A prescription of LTRAs, mainly montelukast, increased the risk of TS among children with asthma, allergic rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis. The mechanism underlying the neuropsychiatric effect of LTRAs needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1607
JournalChildren
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • allergic diseases
  • asthma
  • epidemiology
  • leukotriene antagonist
  • Tourette syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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