Study: Asthmatics need better allergy management

PORTAGE, Mich. — The results of a new study released Thursday recommend allergy testing for both indoor and outdoor allergens in children with asthma, regardless of severity — even for occasional asthma sufferers. According to 2007 NAEPP guidelines, allergy testing is recommended for only perennial indoor allergens in those with persistent asthma. The study, released in the Journal of Asthma, included 1,627 predominately Hispanic children living with asthma in urbanized areas of Orange County, Calif.

“Our data suggest that sensitization to indoor and outdoor aeroallergens can be useful predictors of asthma control, and should be assessed in all asthmatic children,” stated Kenny Kwong, chief of the division of Allergy/Immunology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and one of the co-authors of the study. “This has significant implications for how we manage asthma, particularly in children and certainly in settings such as the inner city.”

Some of the key findings include:

  • Sensitization to tree and weed allergens in those with intermittent asthma at baseline is associated with the loss of well-controlled asthma;
  • Researchers found aeroallergen sensitivity in 74% of patients with persistent asthma severity and in 58% of patients with intermittent severity; and
  • Approximately 70% of all patients were allergic to at least one aeroallergen.

The study, entitled “The Relationship of Aeroallergen Sensitization Phenotypes to Asthma Control in Primarily Hispanic Asthmatic Children,” included children ages 2 to 18 years who enrolled in the Children’s Hospital of Orange County Children’s Breathmobile program from April 2002 to December 2011. The retrospective study included children who showed sensitivity to specific indoor and outdoor aeroallergens during baseline testing and subsequently returned for follow-up care within 6 months of their baseline visit.



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