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New national study links asthma to allergies
Date:9/27/2007

trongly associated with asthma; however, after adjustment by a variety of subject characteristics and all the allergens, only skin tests to cat, Alternaria and white oak were independently and positively associated with asthma, said Peter Gergen, M.D., M.P.H, of NIAID's Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, a co-author on the paper.

Other allergens tested include: Ragweed, dustmites, Russian thistle, Bermuda grass, peanuts, perennial rye and german cockroach. Approximately 10,500 individuals participated in the skin testing. During these tests, skin was exposed to allergy-causing substances (allergens) and a positive test was determined by the size of the reaction on the skin.

This study tells us that allergy is a major factor in asthma, Gergen said. But this study also tells us is that there are many people who get asthma who dont have allergies. We need to do more research to understand what is causing the asthma that is not related to allergies.

This study confirms that the environment plays a major role in the development of asthma, said Zeldin. Given the complexity of this disease it wont be easy, but if we can prevent, block or reverse atopy, we could reduce a large proportion of asthma cases.


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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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