Children with asthma may not realise they are allergic to peanuts because the symptoms are so similar, a study has suggested.
Scientists who carried out a study in the US said symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing are seen in both conditions.
They analysed the records of more than 1,500 children from the paediatric respiratory clinic at Mercy Children's Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, and found one in 10 tested positive to peanut sensitivity.
However, 53pc of these children and their families were not aware and did not suspect there was any sensitivity to peanuts.
They found the prevalence of known peanut allergy was similar across age groups.
"Many of the respiratory symptoms of peanut allergy can mirror those of an asthma attack, and vice versa. Examples of those symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing," said lead author Robert Cohn.
"This study demonstrates that children with asthma might benefit from a test for peanut sensitivity, especially when control of wheezing and coughing is difficult to achieve.
"If a parent notices it in an asthmatic child, they should consider testing, even if they believe their child is not sensitive to peanuts."
Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and policy at Asthma UK, said: "Children with asthma and food allergy together are at increased risk of a severe asthma attack and so should be monitored carefully."