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Food Allergies May Trigger Life-Threatening Asthma Attacks

Food Allergies May Trigger Life-Threatening Asthma Attacks

Sunday, June 15th 2003

Food allergies may trigger life-threatening asthma attacks, according to results of a case-controlled study published in the July issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) and released early on the JACI Web site. Half of children hospitalized for asthma had food allergies, especially to peanuts, compared with 10% of controls.

"This study stresses the importance of detailed allergy investigations in asthmatic children," senior author Gideon Lack, MD, from St. Mary's Hospital in London, U.K., says in a news release. "This should allow pediatricians to identify a group of children at risk for severe reactions and the potential cause for severe asthma in certain children."

The investigators compared a group of 19 children admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit and dependent on ventilators because of respiratory failure after an asthma attack with a group of 38 children with milder asthma. Evaluation included spirometry, skin prick or RAST testing for food allergy, and a questionnaire reviewing exposure to food allergens 24 hours before the asthma attack.

Risk factors for life-threatening asthma were food allergy (odds ratio [OR], 8.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.85 - 39.71), multiple allergic diagnoses (OR, 4.42; 95% CI, 1.17 - 16.7), early onset of asthma (OR, 6.48; 95% CI, 1.36 - 30.85), and frequent hospital admissions (OR, 14.2; 95% CI, 1.77 - 113.59).

Regression analysis revealed that the only independent risk factors for life-threatening asthma were frequent hospital admissions with asthma (OR, 9.85; 95% CI, 1.04 - 93.27) and food allergy (OR, 5.89; 95% CI, 1.06 - 32.61).

Half of the children with life-threatening asthma had food allergies, especially to peanuts, compared with 10% of the children in the control group. The investigators suggest that life-threatening asthma attacks may therefore be triggered by food allergies.

"More intensive management of this group may decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with their asthma," Dr. Lack says.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003;112:1-7

Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Laurie Barclay, MD

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all helpful in severe respiratory conditions:

ALJ
Go Breathe Clear
Echinacea with Astragalus and Reishi
Echinature
Emphysemol
Immune Boost
Golden Seal Root
Herbal Throat Formula
Sambucus
Mullein
Herbal Chest Syrup
Superior Olive Leaf
SystemWell
ViralEx
Vir-Defence
Vitamin C with Hesperidin Complex

Related health information can be found here:

Common Cold
Coughs
Echinacea - a potent weapon against infection
Echinacea - natures natural immune tonic
Fever
Immunity
Sambucol
Vitamin C is essential for fighting infections, wound healing and coping with stress
Winter ailments and immune boosting

Related articles can be found here:

Behind the Science of Sambucol Virologist Developed Clinically Tested
Doctors Recommend a Multi-Vitamin a Day
Don't Let the Winter Bug Get You!
Olive Leaf Extract - For Winter Ills and Much More
The Echinacea Experts
The Winter First Aid Kit in a Bottle
Year Round Immune Building

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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