Allergies, Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 20.09.2018 Interview with: “Pollen” by John S. Quarterman is licensed under CC BY 2.0Bircan Erbas, Associate Professor Reader/Associate Professor, Department of Public Health School of Psychology & Public Health La Trobe University What is the background for this study? Response: Around the world allergic respiratory diseases especially in children is a major problem. Studies have already shown that cord blood IgE can be used to identify children at risk for allergic diseases. Our previous research showed that exposure to high levels of outdoor pollen, especially grass, in the first couple of months after birth increased risk of allergic respiratory diseases. Based on this, we suspected that exposure to high grass pollen during pregnancy could be also important. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, PLoS / 16.07.2018 Interview with: “TOMATOES” by RubyGoes is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wilfried Schwab Technical University of Munich Center of Life and Food Science Weihenstephan Biotechnology of Natural Products Freising, Germany What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of food allergy is an increasing health problem. Although tomatoes are one of the most consumed vegetables worldwide and have health beneficial effects lowering the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, patients suffering from birch pollen allergy can develop cross-reactivity after consumption of fresh tomatoes. The aim of this study was to develop an analytical method for the quantification of the birch-pollen homologous allergen Sola l 4 in various tomatoes cultivars. Furthermore, the effect of conventional or organic cultivation as well as processing techniques on Sola l 4 content was investigated. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Autism, JAMA, Pediatrics / 10.06.2018 Interview with: Wei Bao, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Epidemiology College of Public Health University of Iowa What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies indicated a possible link between immunologic dysfunction and autism. The current study, based on nationally representative large-scale surveys, showed that food allergy, respiratory allergy, and skin allergy, all relevant to immunological dysfunction, were associated with autism spectrum disorder among US children. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Allergies, Education, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 30.05.2018 Interview with: Michael S. Blaiss, MD, FACAAI Executive Medical Director American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Arlington Heights, IL 60005 Is this research important? Why or why not? Response: There has not been a comprehensive review of how allergic rhinitis impacts the adolescent population. Most studies put adolescents in with children and yet we know that how disease affects adolescents may be dramatically different than children. Adolescents is a difficult enough time with a chronic condition What is the key take-home message? Response: The symptoms associated with nasal and eye allergies can be different in adolescents compared with adults and children and lead to poor quality of life and impair learning in school. Adolescents with AR/ARC may experience difficulties falling asleep, night waking, and snoring, and generally have poorer sleep. Therefore health care providers need to aggressively control the adolescent’s allergic rhinitis.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 07.03.2018 Interview with: Emily Clarke McGowan, MD Assistant Professor, Allergy/Clinical Immunology Charlottesville, VA 22908-1355 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Folate (vitamin B9) is available in either the natural or synthetic forms and has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, like spina bifida, in newborns.  Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is widely consumed in the United States in infant formula, supplements, vitamins, and fortified grains.  When folic acid is consumed in high quantities, some of this folic acid does not undergo further metabolism and circulates in the blood as "unmetabolized folic acid" (UMFA). In this study, we measured total folate, UMFA, and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), the main folate metabolite involved in biochemical processes in the body, in a subset of children from the Boston Birth Cohort. While mean levels of total folate at birth were lower among those who developed food allergy, mean levels of the synthetic folic acid derivative, UMFA, were higher.  There was no association between total folate, 5-MTHF, or UMFA levels in early life and the development of food allergy.  (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Allergies / 04.03.2018 Interview with: Jonathan R. Brestoff-Parker, MD, PhD PSTP Resident, Clinical Pathology Department of Pathology & Immunology Washington University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Red meat allergy is a recently recognized food allergy in which people experience a delayed allergic response about 3-6 hours after eating red meats that contain the allergen alpha-gal. Red meat allergy is thought to be caused by tick bites which expose humans to alpha-gal, however other factors that contribute to disease risk are not well described. Alpha-gal looks a lot like the B antigen, which is one of the factors that determines blood type. So we wondered whether people with blood types B or AB are protected from getting red meat allergy. We were amazed when we found that patients who make the B antigen (blood types B or AB) are 5 times less likely to have red meat allergy than patients who do not make the B antigen (blood types O or A).  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Fish, Imperial College, Nutrition, OBGYNE, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Probiotics / 02.03.2018 Interview with: Dr Robert Boyle, Reader in Paediatric Allergy Department of Medicine Imperial College London What is the background for this study? Response: Diet in early life may influence whether or not an infant develops allergies or autoimmune disease. We undertook a project for the UK Food Standards Agency to evaluate the evidence for this. What are the main findings?  Response: We found that a probiotic supplement during the last 2-4 weeks of pregnancy and during breastfeeding may reduce an infant’s chances of developing eczema; and that omega-3 fatty acid supplements taken from the middle of pregnancy (20 weeks gestation) through the first few months of breastfeeding may reduce an infant’s chances of developing food allergy. We also found links between longer duration of breastfeeding and improved infant health, but for most other variations in diet during pregnancy or infancy we did not find evidence for a link with allergies or autoimmune disease. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 29.12.2017 Interview with: Sandra Andorf PhD Kim and Ping Li Director of Computational Biology Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University Instructor, Nadeau Lab Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Food allergies are on the rise in the world. Approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies, which includes around 6 million children. Of people with food allergies, 30-40% are allergic to more than one food and therefore these people have a greater risk for an accidental ingestion resulting in an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. Currently there is no FDA approved treatment for food allergies but oral immunotherapy, a treatment in which the patient eats small but slowly increasing doses of their allergen until they can tolerate a specified dose, was shown in research settings to be safe in children and adults for up to 5 foods in parallel. In this trial, we studied the efficacy and safety of Omalizmuab (an anti-IgE drug) treatment with oral immunotherapy in multifood allergic participants versus placebo with oral immunotherapy for a total of 9 months. We found that 83% of the participants who received Omalizumab could tolerate at least 2 g of at least two different food allergens at the end of the trial compared to 33% of those who received placebo. The participants that received Omalizumab were also desensitized faster, meaning they were on average able to eat 2 g of each of their allergic foods earlier in the treatment. Furthermore, we could show that the use of Omalizumab and the fast updosing is safe. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 26.11.2017 Interview with: “Peanuts” by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0Vicki McWilliam Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Food allergy affects up to 10% of children and 2-3% of adults, and appears to increasing in prevalence. The rise in food allergy prevalence has coincided with increased reports of anaphylaxis. Previous research has shown that adolescents are most at risk of experiencing adverse food reactions and appear to be at higher risk of anaphylaxis fatalities but are an understudied age group in food allergy research. In a large population representative sample of 10,000 10-14 year olds in Melbourne, Australia we found that alarmingly over 40% had experienced an allergic reaction in the past year and almost 10% reported potentially life threatening reactions. Consistent with other research peanut and tree nuts were the most common trigger foods for reactions and those with nut allergy were most at risk of anaphylaxis. Having more than two food allergies doubled the risk of a food allergic reaction compared to those with a single food allergy. Surprisingly, reactions were found to occur most commonly at home rather than restaurants or school. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 18.10.2017 Interview with: “Peanuts” by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Aida Eslami, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr. Denise Daley's research group Centre for Heart and Lung innovation Providence Heart + Lung Institute St. Paul's Hospital Vancouver, BC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Peanut allergy and food allergies in general are caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. Currently, the genetic basis of peanut allergy is unclear due to a lack of studies on food related allergies. Our study was comprised of 850 individuals with peanut allergy from the Canadian Peanut Allergy Registry (CanPAR), and nearly 1,000 individuals without peanut allergy and other food allergies. We looked at over 7.5 million genetic markers through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genes potentially associated with peanut allergy and other food allergies. Our findings are based on results from the CanPAR in combination with the results from other countries: USA, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. We identified a gene that is associated with both peanut allergy and other food allergies. This gene is called c11orf30/EMSY and has previously been shown to be involved in other conditions such as asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Respiratory / 06.10.2017 Interview with: Giovanni Piedimonte, MD Steven and Nancy Calabrese Endowed Chair for Excellence in Pediatric Care, Research, and Education Professor & Chair of Pediatrics Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Case Western Reserve University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study proves that asthmatic children already have a hyperactive calcium channel that’s extremely sensitive to environmental triggers. If these children contract a virus, such as RSV, the hyperactive channel causes more severe symptoms that may require care in a hospital setting. When a child developed asthma or bronchitis in the past, doctors thought these conditions could only be triggered by environmental allergens. There was no explanation why two out of three children ages five and under who wheeze and cough – and still test negative for allergies. We needed to explore the mechanisms of the calcium molecule and the epithelial cells, which seem to trigger these symptoms without an allergic reaction. If the molecule’s behavior is producing the cough, we just need to figure out how to control the molecule to properly deactivate the cough mechanism in the asthmatic child (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Pediatrics, Technology / 07.09.2017 Interview with: Lee, Hakho, PhD Department of Systems Biology Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The incidence of food allergy is increasing worldwide, particularly among children, and yet no handy test is available for general public. There are plenty of allergens testing methods for the factories producing the products, we wanted to solve this issue. Our pilot test showed wide variation in allergen contents in packaged food products and restaurant meals. Hidden allergens (like gluten in salad dressing, likely from additives) were also found. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 19.06.2017 Interview with: Dr. Malcolm Sears, Professor MB, ChB, FRACP, FRCPC, FAAAAI Co-director of the CHILD Study Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, McMaster University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study is a longitudinal birth cohort study commenced in 2008 with 3,495 families across Canada.  We recruited the mothers during pregnancy and are following their children to age 5 with the intent of determining the underlying developmental causes of allergy and asthma. In the current analysis, we have looked at the relationship between the timing of first introduction of three “allergenic” foods (milk products, egg and peanut) and the likelihood of sensitization to these foods at age 1 year.  We found that earlier introduction was associated with a reduced risk of sensitization, which is consistent with some recent randomized controlled trials.  For instance, infants who avoided cow’s milk product in their first year of life were nearly four times as likely to be sensitized to cow’s milk compared with infants who did consume cow’s milk products before age 12 months.  Similarly, infants who avoided egg or peanut in the first year were nearly twice as likely to be sensitized to those foods compared to infants who consumed them before 12 months of age. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 10.04.2017 Interview with: Anita Kozyrskyj, PhD Department of Pediatrics Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry University of Alberta What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have known for a while that early-life exposure to household pets can reduce risk for allergic disease; new studies also suggest a benefit in preventing overweight. Our pilot study in 2013 showed that postnatal pet exposure increases the number of different beneficial microbes in the infant gut. My team of 12, including first author and Albert Innovates-Health Solutions (AIHS) postdoctoral fellow Hein Min Tun, took the science one step closer to understanding this connection in our recently published work in the Microbiome journal. In a study of 746 infants from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study (CHILD) birth cohort, we investigated the impact of pet exposure during pregnancy or afterwards on infant gut microbes, and whether this depended on how infants were born. In infants born vaginally or by cesarean section, pet exposure during pregnancy or pre and postnatally up to 3 months after birth increased the amounts of 2 bacteria found on dogs and cats. One is Ruminococcus, linked to lower rates of allergies in children. The other is a relatively unknown microbe, Oscillospira, reported to promote leanness. Another important finding suggested that contact with pets during pregnancy could reduce transmission of vaginal GBS (group B Streptococcus) during birth. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Pediatrics / 17.03.2017 Interview with: Lavanya Diwakar, FRCPath Honorary consultant in immunology Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, and Research fellow in health economic University of Birmingham Birmingham UK What is the background for this study? Response: The rate of anaphylaxis (serious, potentially life threatening manifestation of allergy) has increased in the last decade. There have been some reports from other countries about an increase in the number of adrenaline autoinjectors being prescribed in children, but this has not been systematically examined in the UK. We looked at a database of patient records from over 500 general practices, THIN (the Health Improvement Network), between 2000 and 2012. We found nearly 24,000 children who had been identified as being at risk of anaphylaxis by General Practitioners and prescribed epipens. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard / 15.03.2017 Interview with: Kimberly Gold Blumenthal, M.D Assistant Professor of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital What is the background for this study? Response: Over-reported penicillin allergies negatively impact patient care, as alternative drugs that are often used can be less effective, more toxic, more broad-spectrum (killing all of the good bacteria and leaving patients increasingly vulnerable to C.diff colitis), and more expensive. Most hospitalized patients who have a recorded penicillin allergy are not actually allergic. This has drawn attention by national organizations such as the CDC, National Quality Forum, and both allergy and infectious diseases professional societies. The message is clear: Address reported penicillin allergies in some way to improve care. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 09.03.2017 Interview with: Elizabeth C. Matsui, MD MHS Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 21287 What is the background for this study? Response: We designed this study after our previous work indicated that mouse allergy was common among low-income children living in some urban neighborhoods in the US, that these children also had high levels of mouse allergen exposure in their homes, and that children who are both allergic to mice and exposed to high levels of mouse allergen are at greater risk of asthma symptoms, emergency room visits and hospitalization.   Given this background, we designed a randomized clinical trial to determine if an intensive professionally delivered mouse intervention was better than education about mouse control in reducing asthma symptoms and lowering home mouse allergen levels. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Immunotherapy, Imperial College, JAMA / 16.02.2017 Interview with: Stephen R. Durham, MD Imperial College, London, and Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust London, United Kingdom What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Allergic rhinitis affects 1 in 4 the UK population and may compromise sleep and work/school performance and be associated with bronchial asthma. When nasal steroids and antihistamines do not work or cause side effects, allergen immunotherapy is an alternative. Immunotherapy using high doses of grass pollen allergen as monthly injections or daily tablets under the tongue are highly effective. Treatment for 3 years not only gives sustained improvement on treatment but also long-term benefits and disease remission for at least 2-3 years after stopping treatment. This single centre study at Imperial College London and Royal Brompton Hospital London included 106 adults with severe Hayfever followed up for 3 years, 2 years on treatment and 1 year after stopping treatment. In this double-blind trial, 3 randomised groups took sublingual immunotherapy, subcutaneous immunotherapy and placebo treatment. 92 completed the trial. Results showed that 2 years treatment with both modalities did not result in persistent benefit at year 3, although the researchers found that both treatments were effective compared to placebo during years 1 and 2. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, MRSA, NIH, Science / 01.12.2016 Interview with: Warren Leonard, M.D. NIH Distinguished Investigator Laboratory of Molecular Immunology NHLBI, NIH What is the background for this study? Response: TSLP is a cytokine that has been well studied in the context of T cell helper type 2 (TH2) responses and the promotion of atopic diseases. TSLP is naturally expressed at barrier surfaces, such as the skin; however, its role in skin infections was not previously explored. In our study, we investigated whether TSLP plays a role in host defense to Staphylococcus aureus skin infections, using the most common strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) present in the United States. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 14.11.2016 Interview with: Deepa Patadia, MD Wexner Medical Center The Ohio State University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Influenza vaccination is recommended every autumn for all children 6 months of age and older. It is particularly important for children with asthma, who are at high risk of hospitalization or severe illness if they contract influenza infection. The rates of influenza vaccination in children with asthma have not previously been well studied, but Healthy People 2020 has set a target goal to vaccinate 70% of all children for influenza. We found that rates of vaccination in our large primary care population was much lower than the target rate, with less than 50% of all children receiving the vaccine each year over a 5 year period; however rates were higher in children with asthma, albeit still only at 55%. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 03.11.2016 Interview with: Dr. Daniela Posa, MD Department of Paediatric Pneumology & Immunology Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin Berlin, Germany What is the background for this study? Response: Allergy to house dust mites contributes to chronic rhinitis and asthma in hundreds million children and adults worldwide, causing tremendous health and economic burden in high- and middle-income countries. The disease is caused by antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE), it starts in childhood and can be controlled with drugs and allergen avoidance. However, there is no cure, hence primary and secondary prevention of mite allergy is a global research priority. We wanted to discover how allergy to mites starts and evolves and why some children develop more severe sensitization and symptoms than others. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, NIH / 26.10.2016 Interview with: Geoffrey Mueller, Ph.D. Staff Scientist Genome Integrity and Structural Biology Laboratory National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Institutes of Health Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: While allergic disease is a wide spread problem, it is actually a select few proteins, called allergens, that initiate allergy symptoms. This study was focused on looking for fundamental biochemical differences between allergens and non-allergens derived from the house dust mite. We found that the mite allergens, as a group, are distinctly different from the non-allergens in that they are more highly produced, and more stable. Previous anecdotal evidence suggested that these properties would lead to more allergens surviving the journey from the source (either mites or pollens) to a person. In addition, the greater stability of allergens may influence the decision making of the immune system to target these proteins as dangerous instead of harmless. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology / 25.09.2016 Interview with: Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD Professor of Dermatology and Immunology Vice Chair of the Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine and Amy S. Paller, MD Walter J. Hamlin Professor Chair of the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern What is the background for this study? Response: Researchers for the first time have identified the skin phenotype of pediatric eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) in infants, opening the door for personalized treatment approaches for young children with eczema. The study, led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, was published online today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD, Professor of Dermatology and Immunology, and Vice Chair of the Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine, and Amy S. Paller, MD, Walter J. Hamlin Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern, investigated lesional and non-lesional skin biopsies from 19 AD infants under the age of five, and compared them to age-matched pediatric controls, in addition to adult AD biopsies. The researchers found that the non-lesional, or normal-appearing, skin of young children with early eczema is already highly abnormal with significant immune activation, simulating that of lesional skin of adults with many years of active disease. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.09.2016 Interview with: Dr Robert Boyle Senior lecturer in paediatric allergy honorary consultant, Paediatric allergist Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?   Editors' note: Please discuss food introduction with your child's pediatrician before embarking on any new foods. Response: Food allergy is a common problem which may be getting more common. We have known for over 100 years that feeding egg to animals such as guinea pigs can prevent egg allergy. However randomised trials of allergenic food introduction for preventing food allergy in human infants have not been done until the past 5 years, and have so far yielded mixed results. One trial for peanut allergy was positive, with less peanut allergy in infants who were fed the food from early in life compared with infants who avoided it for 5 years. Other trials have yielded null findings, but may have been too small to yield a conclusive result. We used a technique called meta-analysis to combine the results of all previous trials of timing of allergenic food introduction and risk of food allergy. We also evaluated other allergic and autoimmune diseases. Our analysis yielded conclusive results for both egg and peanut – that early introduction of these foods into an infant’s diet might reduce their risk of egg and peanut allergy by around 40-70%. We were surprised to see null findings in our meta-analysis of timing of gluten or wheat introduction and risk of coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) which is a different type of allergy to egg and peanut allergy. This suggests that early introduction of allergenic foods does not reduce risk of all types of food allergy. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 13.09.2016 Interview with: Erica Marie Hartmann PhD Assistant Professor Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering Northwestern University Evanston, IL 60208 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The antimicrobial chemical triclosan has been found in almost every dust sample that has ever been tested worldwide, and we already know that triclosan can cause an increase in antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater. This study is the first to show a link between antibiotic resistance genes and antimicrobial chemicals in indoor dust, which people tend to come into contact with more than wastewater. This finding is important because the World Health Organization has identified a huge information gap in community-acquired antibiotic-resistant infections; the use of antimicrobial chemicals in homes and other non-medical buildings could be contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance outside of hospital settings. This study was published in the wake of the FDA decision last week to ban the use of triclosan and several other antimicrobial chemicals in soaps. While the FDA decision is a good first step, it's not the end the problem. Antimicrobial chemicals like triclosan are in a lot of different products. Right now, we don’t know how much of the triclosan we see in dust comes from soap vs. other products (building materials, paints, plastics, etc.). (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 07.09.2016 Interview with: Bryan L. Love, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID Associate Professor Department of Clinical Pharmacy & Outcomes Sciences South Carolina College of Pharmacy University of South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina 29208-0001 What is the background for this study? Response: In the US, food allergy has become one of the more common childhood medical conditions diagnosed in young children. Antibiotics are frequently prescribed in young children, and research continues to reveal that as many as 30% of antibiotic prescriptions are not appropriate.* We sought to examine if there was an association between antibiotic prescription and food allergy diagnosis. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 25.08.2016 Interview with: David A. Hill, M.D., Ph.D. Fellow Physician Division of Allergy and Immunology The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 19104-3375 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Eczema, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and food allergies are among the most common childhood medical conditions in the United States. Importantly, disease rates for these conditions are thought to be changing, prompting the need for continued surveillance. In our study, we examined electronic medical record data of over 1 million children to measure incidence and prevalence rates of these conditions in our community. We found that 1 in 5 children seen in our network are diagnosed with asthma, a rate that is among the highest in the nation. Additionally, the large size of our study allowed us to measure the extent to which food allergies are associated with asthma or allergic rhinitis. In this analysis, we found that children with food allergies are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop asthma or allergic rhinitis, as compared with children without food allergy. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pulmonary Disease / 05.04.2016 Interview with: Anick Bérard PhD FISPE Research chair FRQ-S on Medications and Pregnancy and Director Réseau Québécois de recherche sur le médicament (RQRM) and Professor, Research Chair on Medications, Pregnancy and Lactation Faculty of Pharmacy,University of Montreal and Director, Research Unit on Medications and Pregnancy Research Center CHU Ste-Justine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Intranasal corticosteroid (Nasacort) use during pregnancy for the treatment of seasonal allergies has increased over the past decade. Nasacort is now available over the counter since October 2013 in the US and January 2015 in Canada. Given that seasonal allergies are prevalent during pregnancy and that a medication available over-the-counter is likely to be used frequently, we aimed to study the risk of using Nasacort during gestation. Furthermore, given the potential public health impact, the objectives of our study were to assess the safety of intranasal triamcinolone exposure during pregnancy on the occurrence of major congenital malformations, small-for-gestational-age (SGA) newborn, and spontaneous abortions. Use of intranasal triamcinolone during the first trimester of pregnancy was not significantly associated with the risk of overall congenital malformations (OR 0.88, 95%CI 0.60-1.28; 31 exposed cases) compared to non-exposure; it was however associated with the risk of respiratory defects (OR 2.71, 95%CI 1.11-6.64; 5 exposed cases). This is important given that a medication given for the treatment of respiratory diseases is associated with respiratory defects in newborns. Pregnancy exposure to intranasal triamcinolone was not significantly associated with the risk of spontaneous abortions (OR 1.04, 95%CI 0.76-1.43; 50 exposed cases). No association was found between 2nd or 3rd trimester exposure to intranasal triamcinolone and the risk of SGA (OR 1.06, 95%CI 0.79-1.43; 50 exposed cases). (more…)