Surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids in children suffering from sleep apnea is associated with decreased asthma severity, according to the first large study of the connection, published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Chicago found that in the first year after the operation, children who had the surgery had a 30 percent reduction in acute asthma exacerbations and a 38 percent decrease in acute status asthmaticus—a medical emergency.

They also found pediatric patients who received the surgery had a 36 percent reduction in asthma-related hospitalizations and a 26 percent decline in asthma-related emergency room visits. Children who did not have the surgery did not have significant reductions.