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Researchers find link between asthma and food allergies
Many children and adolescents around the world suffer from asthma. Australian researchers have now found that adolescents with a food allergy are four times more likely to develop asthma compared to adolescents without such an allergy to food.
The researchers at Murdoch Children's Research Institute found that teenagers with food allergies were much more likely to suffer from asthma. These adolescents are four times more likely to develop asthma compared to healthy adolescents. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Researchers are investigating around 10,000 young subjects for their study
So-called anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction of the immune system to the repeated consumption of protein substances. Scientists have now found a link between asthma and anaphylaxis. To this end, the experts examined around 10,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 14 during their study. The researchers observed that people with multiple allergies to different foods suffer from asthma ten times more often than people without such an allergy.
Misjudgment of symptoms can delay life-saving treatment
There were concerns among some medical professionals that the so-called anaphylactic reaction of a teenager could be mistaken for an asthma attack. This could lead to a delay in the delivery of a life-saving adrenaline auto-injector, explains Professor Katie Allen of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia.
By 2050, approximately 7.7 million Australians will suffer from a food allergy
In Australia alone there are about 30,000 new cases of food allergy every year. The experts estimate that at the current rate of disease by 2050, approximately 7.7 million Australians will suffer from a food allergy. Experts have long warned that the rate of allergy incidence in Australia is growing at an alarming rate.
There is a very high rate of people with food allergies in Australia
Australia has one of the highest rates of food allergy in the world. Due to the rapid increase in food allergies over the past 10 to 15 years, the current generation of adolescents already shows a high need for so-called allergy management and this will continue to increase in the course of demographic development, the scientists explain.
Two percent of 10- to 14-year-olds suffer from a nut allergy
The scientists pointed to the story of a 15-year-old teenager who died in 2012. He had accidentally eaten cookies with macadamia nuts. The teenager suffered from both nut allergy and asthma. The symptoms were initially attributed to asthma, the experts say. However, the observed reaction was later identified as anaphylaxis. In Australia, up to two percent of children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14 suffer from a nut allergy, with a total of about five percent suffering from a food allergy, the authors explain.
Examination enables better understanding of food allergies
The results of the study enable researchers to better view and understand the full spectrum of food allergies. A study of this type and size has never been carried out in the world, say the doctors.
Education about food allergies needs to be improved
Unfortunately, there have been some deaths from anaphylaxis in recent years. Those with a food allergy and asthma have often not recognized the allergy as the reason for the health problems, the authors say. The question here is whether the patients have been poorly informed about the signs and symptoms of their food allergy. If this is the case, it could have been an important factor in the death of the sufferer, the experts add.
Treating food allergy should be a priority
If a person with a food allergy and asthma suspects he has eaten something that could cause an allergic reaction and suddenly begins to have difficulty breathing, treating food allergy should be a priority, Professor Allen emphasizes. (as)