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An ongoing round-up of interesting articles from the press:

April 25, 2012

I just saw this interesting article in Am J Rhinol Allergy 26,85-91, 2012: Factors assocaited with allergen sensitization with patients with asthma and/or rhinitis in China. Here's the abstract:

Background: Allergen sensitization is influenced by genetic and environmental factors; however, the factors related to sensitizations in patients with rhinitis and asthma in China are largely unknown. This study investigated the factors associated with allergen sensitizations in patients with asthma and rhinitis in China.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed in 6304 patients with asthma and/or rhinitis from four regions of China. Patients completed a standardized questionnaire related to respiratory and allergic symptoms, family history of allergic diseases, smoking history, environmental exposure, and eating behaviors. They underwent skin-prick tests (SPTs) with 13 common aeroallergens. Blood samples were collected from 2268 of patients for specific IgE (sIgE) measurements against 16 common aeroallergens.

Results: Patients with both asthma and rhinitis had higher prevalence of SPT and sIgE positivity to most allergens than those with asthma or rhinitis alone (p < 0.0001). Male gender, family history of allergic rhinitis, air-conditioner usage, sleeping on a mattress, and frequently eating meat were associated with increased risk of SPT and sIgE positivity. Using air-conditioner and sleeping on a mattress were further found to be associated with sIgE positivity to mites and molds. However, increased age and fish, fruit, and raw vegetable intake decreased the risk of SPT and sIgE positivity.

Conclusion: Family history of allergic rhinitis, male gender, using an air conditioner, sleeping on a mattress, and frequent meat consumption are risk factors for allergen sensitizations, whereas increased age and frequent fish, fruit, and raw vegetable consumption may protect patients with asthma and/or rhinitis from developing sensitizations in China.


Feb 14, 2012 

Antibiotics are prescribed for sinusitis at high rates.  It has always been difficult for me to decide what my threshold is for starting them A recent JAMA article got lots of press as it reported that for acute rhinosinusitis, antibiotics did not help.  The subjects were otherwise healthy and going to see their primary care provider, but nonetheless:



January 19, 2012

The latest edition of JACI features an article of interested entitled, "Roles of pollution in the prevalence and exacerbations of allergic diseases in Asia".   Authors are Ting Fan Leung, Fanny Wai-San Ko, and Gary Wing-Kin Wong. It can be found in JACI 2012;129:42-7. Check it out! The abstract is below:

"The prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases has been found to be increasingly rapidly, especially in developing countries. Environmental factors have been found to be important contributors to the manifestations of allergic diseases. Air pollution has been extensively studied in different regions of the world. The levels of ambient air pollutants in many Asian countries are very high when compared with those in developed Western countries. However, the prevalence of asthma was relatively low across many Asian countries. Many studies have clearly documented that environmental air pollution is an important factor resulting in exacerbations of asthma. In particular, levels of traffic-related pollutants are increasing rapidly across many Asian countries in parallel with the level of urbanization and economic development. The loss of protective factors associated with a rural environment will further contribute to the adverse effect on patients with allergic diseases such as asthma. In this review the roles of air pollution were examined in relation to the inception and exacerbations of allergic diseases in Asia."

January 12, 2012

In light of last month's reported Naeglaria-related death and neti pot association, here is the offical CDC link regarding this amoeba:



December 16, 2011

Cat allergy sufferers may be able to breathe easier on Canadian flights!



December 15, 2011

Here is a sobering first-person perspective of adult eczema published in the New York Times:



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