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:
Go Breathe Clear
Echinacea with Astragalus and Reishi
Golden Seal Root
Herbal Throat Formula
Herbal Chest Syrup
Superior Olive Leaf
Vitamin C with Hesperidin Complex
Related health information can be found here:
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Vitamin C is essential for fighting infections, wound healing and coping with stress
Winter ailments and immune boosting
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