FOOD ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA

FCAAIA Notes: The more that is learned about the relationship between various allergic conditions (asthma, nasal allergies, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, etc.), the more complex things seem to become. It is clear that children with any allergic disease are at greater risk of another. It is of utmost importance that your allergist closely monitors the natural history of any child’s allergic disease, keeping his eyes open for even subtle hints of progression. The “atopic (or allergic) march” from eczema in infancy to asthma and allergic rhinitis by early school age is a well described phenomenon. Children with chronic or recurrent upper or lower airway symptoms should see an allergist for evaluation.

(Source: Medscape, May 24, 2011, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/741822?src=mp&spon=38 Adapted from Wang J, Liu AH. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;11(3):249-254.)

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To consider the possible links between food allergy and asthma.
RECENT FINDINGS: Food allergy and asthma coexist in many children, and recent studies demonstrate that having these comorbid conditions increases the risk for morbidity. Children with food allergies and asthma are more likely to have near-fatal or fatal allergic reactions to food and more likely to have severe asthma.
SUMMARY: Although a causal link has not been determined, increased awareness of the heightened risks of having both of these common childhood conditions and good patient/parent education and management of both conditions can lead to improved outcomes

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