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Children, males and blacks are at increased risk for food allergies
Date:10/3/2010

encing a severe asthma attack were 6.9 times higher than those without clinically defined food allergies.

"This study provides further credence that food allergies may be contributing to severe asthma episodes, and suggests that people with a food allergy and asthma should closely monitor both conditions and be aware that they might be related," said Andrew Liu, M.D., of National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, and lead author on the paper.

The data used for the study comes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006. NHANES is a large nationally representative survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Zeldin and Liu note more research is needed to understand why certain groups are at increased risk for food allergy. The authors comment in the paper that food allergies may be under-recognized in blacks, males, and children, because previous studies relied on self-reporting and not food-specific serum IgE levels.

"Having an accurate estimate of the prevalence of food allergies is helpful to public health policy makers, schools and day care facilities, and other care providers as they plan and allocate resources to recognize and treat food allergies," said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., NIEHS director.


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Contact: Robin Mackar
rmackar@niehs.nih.gov
919-541-0073
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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