-- Alan Mozes
SUNDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- People with asthma fare
better on a type of food-allergy test called a "food challenge"
than non-asthmatics, new research suggests.
Food challenges involve people suspected of having a food
allergy eating small amounts of the food orally to see if they have
an allergic reaction. If there is no reaction, the person eats
increasing amounts of the food to determine if they can safely eat
In the study, researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin
and the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin reviewed the charts of 105
patients with food allergies who ranged in age from 9 months to 74
years old. About three-quarters of the patients had asthma.
About 21 percent of those who didn't have asthma failed food
challenges, meaning they had a reaction such as hives, cough or
wheezing after being exposed to the food. Less than 13 percent of
the asthmatic patients failed the food challenge.
"A diagnosis of asthma was not associated with a higher food-challenge failure rate, which suggests that food challenges should be encouraged in this population," senior study author Dr. Monica Vasudev said in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).
The study was scheduled to be presented March 4 at the AAAAI
annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. Data and conclusions should be
viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed
The study authors noted that doctors and patients may be worried
that having asthma means having an elevated risk of allergic
"We wanted to review the results of food challenges because the tendency may be to avoid them due to concern of a reaction, and this is especially true in patients with a history of asthma," study first author Carrie Lee noted in the release.
Food challenges, she added, "should always be performed under
supervised medical care with use of an established protocol."
Initiative has more on food allergies.
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