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Have asthma? You likely have an allergy as well

Date:
April 2, 2013
Source:
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)
Summary:
A new study found 65 to 75 percent of asthmatic adults have an allergy.

Asthma is becoming an epidemic in the United States. The number of Americans diagnosed with asthma grows annually, with 26 million currently affected. And according to a new study, nearly two-thirds or more of all asthmatics also have an allergy, which can make this spring season particularly bothersome.

The study, which is published in the April issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), found that an astonishing 75 percent of asthmatic adults aged 20- to 40-years-old, and 65 percent of asthmatic adults aged 55 years and older, have at least one allergy.

"Allergists have known the prevalence of allergies among asthmatic children is high at 60 to 80 percent, but it was thought allergies were not as common in asthmatic adults," said allergist Paula Busse, MD, lead study author. "These findings are important, and can help lead to proper diagnosis and treatment."

A total of 2,573 adults were studied in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). A panel of 19 allergens was used to detect allergy among asthmatics.

While asthma is frequently associated with children, it is not uncommon among adults 60 years and older, affecting three to seven percent. This number is likely higher, however, because asthma is often underdiagnosed in older adults.

"Both asthma and allergies can strike at any age, and are serious diseases," said allergist Richard Weber, MD, ACAAI president. "Anyone who thinks they may be having symptoms of an allergy or asthma should see a board-certified allergist. Allergists are experts in diagnosing and treating both conditions."

According to the ACAAI, more than 50 million Americans have an allergy, a number which is also on the rise. Is the link between asthma and allergies a reason?

"It could be one of many creating this perfect storm for allergies," said Dr. Weber. "Other factors, such as the hygiene hypothesis, climate change and an increase in awareness and education can also be reasons for this growth."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paula J. Busse, Richard D. Cohn, Paivi M. Salo, Darryl C. Zeldin. Characteristics of allergic sensitization among asthmatic adults older than 55 years: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2006. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 2013; 110 (4): 247 DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2013.01.016

Cite This Page:

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). "Have asthma? You likely have an allergy as well." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402090831.htm>.
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). (2013, April 2). Have asthma? You likely have an allergy as well. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402090831.htm
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). "Have asthma? You likely have an allergy as well." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402090831.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

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