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The study team says that an implication of their findings is that allergies are probably a consequence of asthma, rather than a cause. The study also suggests that childhood-onset asthma differs biologically from adult-onset asthma, as the gene that affected children the most did not affect adults. Professor Miriam Moffatt, one of the study's leaders, said: 'As a result of genetic studies we now know that allergies may develop as a result of defects in the lining of the airways in asthma. This does not mean that allergies are not important, but it does mean that concentrating therapies only on allergy will not effectively treat the whole disease.'