November 2006 Archives

6.7% of Vietnamese suffer from COPD

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COPDHANOI, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Some 6.7 percent of Vietnam's 83.1-million plus population suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Over 3 million local people are now infected with COPD, which is mainly caused by smoking and environmental pollution, and the figure is increasing, local newspaper Youth on Thursday quoted Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen as saying.

To date, Vietnam has spent some nine trillion Vietnamese dong (over 556 million U.S. dollars) on treatment for the sufferers.

Pine allergies require artificial trees

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pine treeRAPID CITY — If you or your family members seem to come down with colds every year at Christmas time, you might want to think about replacing that fresh-cut tree with an artificial one, according to a local allergy doctor.

“If someone is allergic to pine pollen, they will also be allergic to the smell of the pine — both the trees and the greens that you have in arrangements,” Dr. Gerti Janss said. And if you’re allergic to pine, you’re allergic to spruce. “They’re from the same family.”

Pine pollen allergies are common, Janss said, even though people might not realize they have them. Some people suffer when pollen flies in the spring and early summer. Others can’t do woodworking projects with pine boards.
almonds OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 29, 2006) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Euro-Excellence Inc. are warning people with allergies to almond protein not to consume the Swiss Delice Classique Noisettes brand Fine Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts described below. The affected product may contain almond protein which is not declared on the label.

The affected product, the Swiss Delice Classique Noisettes brand Fine Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts, is sold in a 100 g package bearing UPC 7 616501 012478. All lot codes are affected by this alert. This product has been distributed in Ontario and Quebec.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Simple steps minimize yuletide allergies

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xmasAllergy sufferers cringe during one of the most celebrated traditions of the winter holiday season - trimming the Christmas tree.

Allergists say itchy noses, scratchy eyes and sneezing during the holidays can have more to do with what is on a holiday tree than the tree itself.

While festive fir trees have thick, waxy pollen, studies have never shown them to cause significant allergic reactions. The real culprits behind holiday sniffles are Christmas tree dust and mold, and the chemicals sometimes sprayed on fresh trees to control pests or reduce needle shedding, says Dan Atkins, a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center.

NIAIDWashington University said Tuesday that it plans to use a $7.7 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to establish a new center for asthma research at the university's medical school.

The project was funded Aug. 15, 2006, according to Washington University spokeswoman Gwen Ericson, who said Dr. Michael Holtzman will lead the new center. The center will investigate the causes of asthma to develop new treatments for the disease. It will conduct research specifically focused on how the body's immune system contributes to asthma.

"Normally, immunity is under tight control," said Holtzman, who directs the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, in a statement. "But if the immune response goes too far, it can cause inflammatory diseases like asthma."

Peanut gene breakthrough may lead to allergen free nuts

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researchScientists have identified a new gene in peanuts that codes for a protein with no apparent allergic effects, research that opens up the possibility of allergen-free GM nuts.

The identification of the new gene, called ara h 3-im, by researchers from the University of Florida offers some hope for estimated 2.5 million people in Europe and the US now vulnerable to the food allergy.

"If it is true that Ara h 3-im has lower allergenic properties than other Ara h 3 proteins, this study may provide the information necessary to produce a hypoallergenic peanut through silencing of the major allergens and selecting for the reduced allergenic polypeptides via mutational breeding and/or genetic engineering," wrote authors I-H Kang and M. Gallo.

Tokyo offers asthma lifeline

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asthmaThe Tokyo metropolitan government proposed to the Tokyo High Court on Tuesday that it will create a new system to help all residents suffering from asthma as a reconciliation plan with 96 plaintiffs who filed a damages suit against the central and Tokyo governments, the former public expressway corporation and others asking for compensation of about 2 billion yen.

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara visited the high court on Tuesday afternoon to explain the reconciliation plan. The high court will show the plan to other defendants, including the central government, and the plaintiffs, and urge them to reach an out-of-court settlement.

Unani drug found effective in bronchial asthma

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asthmaNew Delhi, Nov. 28 (ANI) - A concoction of herbal drugs used in Unani Medicine has shown encouraging results in the treatment of chronic lung diseases, such as asthma.

The coded combination Asthma-5 has shown good response in chronic patients of bronchial asthma. In mild and moderate asthma the drug has shown significant symptomatic relief.

The drug took about 15 days to reach the optimum level, the study said. It was also noted that the maximum effect was seen after 90 days of treatment.

New risk score helps identify severe asthma cases

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asthma LONDON (Reuters) - A new clinical tool to help doctors identify asthma patients most likely to need hospital treatment could improve the care of patients and reduce costs, researchers said on Tuesday.

The TENOR Risk Score determines the most difficult-to-treat cases by assessing factors such as the patient's age, weight, smoking status, medical history, medications and breathing and exercise tests.

In a three year study published in the European Respiratory Journal, patients with the highest score were 10 times more likely to need emergency treatment or be admitted to hospital than other asthma sufferers.

"The risk score derived is a clinically useful tool for assessing the likelihood of asthma-related hospitalization or emergency department visits," said Mary Miller of Genentech Inc who is a co-author of the study.

Christmas Allergies Can Make The Holidays Anything But Fun

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sinus busterAs Christmas draws closer, winter allergies are once again on the rise. According to a recent survey, (3 out of 4) adults experience an increase of allergy attacks including headaches, eye irritation and sinus congestion from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.

The survey was conducted by SiCap Industries, makers of the world's first hot pepper nasal spray known as "Sinus Buster". With more than 500,000 regular customers, Sinus Buster has become a strong leader in the natural health industry.

"We sent questionnaires to several thousand customers randomly. About 1200 surveys were returned. Each survey concentrated specifically on allergies during the holiday season. We couldn't believe how many of our customers had Christmas allergies," says Wayne Perry, president of SiCap Industries.

AAP 2006: New Research in Asthma, Eczema, and Urticaria

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researchOn Saturday, October 7, 2006, the AAP Section on Allergy and Immunology sponsored a session reviewing recent publications in the fields of asthma, eczema, and urticaria.

Asthma Diagnosis and Management

The first speaker was Dr. Paul Williams, Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center in Seattle, Washington, who was Chairman of the Section on Allergy and Immunology at AAP. He highlighted recent articles on the prevention of and care for patients with asthma. He reviewed studies covering the epidemiology of asthma, identification of severity and proper severity classification, and variation in symptom severity.[1]

Asthma drugs cause immune cell build-up

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proventil NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The use of beta-agonist inhalers, which include drugs such as Proventil (albuterol), for asthma appears to promote the accumulation of immune cells called type 2 T cells, according to a report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The results reinforce the importance of including anti-inflammatory steroids, note the authors.

"Our findings that suggest beta-agonists promote preferential type 2 T-cell accumulation are consistent with clinical findings that continuous beta-agonist therapy leads to deterioration of control in some asthmatics," Dr. Raymond B. Penn from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina told Reuters Health. "Why this deterioration occurs is not clear, but the fact that deterioration is less likely to occur when...steroids are used in conjunction suggests a failure to control inflammation."

COPDCOPD is the fourth leading cause of death in America, claiming the lives of 122,283 Americans in 2003. It is a term used to describe the obstruction of airflow associated primarily with emphysema and chronic bronchitis. While COPD cannot be cured, it can be treated.

Smoking is the primary cause of COPD. About 90 percent of COPD cases are caused by smoking. Other risk factors include air pollution, secondhand smoke, history of childhood respiratory infections, and heredity. This is the fourth consecutive year in which women have exceeded men in the number of deaths attributed to COPD. In 2003, approximately 63,062 females died compared to 59,321 males.

We need to expand the awareness of a quiet killer. Early detection and the development of new therapies can improve health outcomes and help millions of people with COPD live longer, healthier lives.

Poll: School meals trigger allergies in some

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japanese girlJAPAN - More than 300 cases of allergic reaction to food served in school lunches occur annually, according to the first nationwide survey conducted by Sagamihara National Hospital and the School Dietician Conference of Japan.

Though the survey found no fatal cases, 4.7 percent of students who suffered were hospitalized, with 59 percent of primary and middle school students who had allergic reactions treated in hospitals.

The results illustrate the importance of measures to prevent allergic reactions to food in school lunches, the national hospital organization in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, and the Tokyo-based conference said.

The dietitian conference also decided to make a pamphlet about points to remember when providing school lunch to students with food allergies in the next fiscal year.

Big dry means bad air days

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droughtDROUGHT, wind-blown dust and bushfire smoke have emerged as the latest problems for Melbourne's air quality.

Twenty years ago, photochemical smog cooked up from car emissions was the enemy. Now, with tighter emission controls and cleaner fuels, there is a new threat to fresh air.

"In terms of extreme pollution events, in the last few years it's been due to drought-related effects such as wind-blown dust and bushfire smoke," Environment Protection Authority Victoria regional services executive director Bruce Dawson said. "Everyone is on high alert as to this year being a potentially serious bushfire season — we'll make sure people understand there are possible air quality and environmental impacts associated with that."

Asthma myths need to be busted

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survey ONE in two parents here feel they need to know more about asthma, found a survey by the Asthma Association.

The survey also revealed that many parents do not know about the available treatment options and still cling to myths regarding asthma.

One is that asthmatic children should avoid physical activity and sport. This is untrue, said Dr Lynette Shek, Paediatric Consultant at the National University Hospital (NUH). "In fact, the current evidence is that exercise should be encouraged … The large Academies in America and Europe recommend exercise to be prescribed, like medicine, for people with asthma," she said.

Allergy warning issued over chocolate bars

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chocolateThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning people with allergies to peanut or almond proteins not to consume certain Café Tasse Noir Praliné chocolate bars.

The agency warns some of the chocolate bars may contain peanut and almond proteins that are not declared on the label.

The importer is voluntarily recalling the affected product from stores, the agency said Friday.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of the product, it added.

Why some inhalers can make asthma worse?

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asthma inhalerThe work of researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center may shed new light on why some inhalers can worsen asthma.

Raymond Penn and Matt Loza, scientists in Wake Forest's School of Medicine, led a research team studying the effect of a class of drugs called beta agonists - often found in inhalers - on cells collected from healthy people.

They found that the drug increases a type of white-blood cell involved in immune-system defense. These Type 2 T-cells are thought to contribute to such health problems as asthma and even lupus. They're seeing similar results in preliminary research of cells collected from asthmatics.

Stress Quadruples Risk of Asthma Attacks in Children

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asthmaISLAMABAD - Children with asthma face quadruple the risk of an attack following stressful events in their lives, according to a study published on Wednesday in the journal Thorax.

Researchers from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, studied 60 children between the ages of 6 and 13, who had suffered from asthma for at least three years.

The children were asked to keep daily records over 18 months of acute attacks and their breath strength. Researchers regularly interviewed the children and their parents about stressful life events.

After the information was analyzed, the children were found to be four times as likely to experience a sudden worsening of symptoms with two days of a traumatic experience.

Undetected Infection Could Make Asthma Worse

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asthmaCHICAGO - A new discovery could help millions of Americans who suffer from asthma.

Medical Editor Mary Ann Childers reports on a connection between asthma and infections.

This new research suggests that an undetected lung infection could make chronic asthma worse. The good news is that it's easily treatable.

You wouldn't know it to look at her now, but doctors once gave Diane Cushman Neal only six months to live.

Tips for Hosting an Allergic Child

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food allergy1. Keep finger food—candies, crudités—well out of reach of little hands.

2. Avoid serving nuts and using nut oils—sesame, peanut, etc.—while cooking because for children with severe nut allergies, oil traces left on countertops can set off a reaction, even without eating the food in question.

3. Know your ingredients. Be sure that you and whoever is serving food know the ingredients—all of them—of what's being served. They're not always obvious - milk can be hiding in veggie dogs and soy is contained in many prepared foods. if you're serving catered foods, be especially vigilant about ingredients.

Antibiotic use in infants may double asthma risk

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asthmaChildren exposed to at least one course of antibiotics in their first year of life may have an increased risk of developing childhood asthma.

The research, published in the journal Chest, has shown that children under age 1 who were treated with an antibiotic were twice as likely as untreated children to develop asthma in childhood. In addition, the use of multiple antibiotics in infants appeared to further increase the risk of developing asthma.

" Antibiotic use in children has been found to coincide with an increased incidence of childhood asthma," said lead author Carlo Marra, University of British Columbia, Vancouver ( Canada ). "Although the causal nature between antibiotics and asthma is still unclear, our overall results show that treatment with at least one antibiotic as an infant appears to be associated with the development of childhood asthma."

New Standard Certifies Pillows as 'Asthma Friendly'

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pillowWASHINGTON, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A new certification standard has been launched this holiday season to help people with asthma and allergies find pillows that are more suitable for them. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reports that pillows and other bedding can be home to millions of dust mites and other allergens that cause asthma symptoms. Now, AAFA has launched the asthma friendly(R) Certification Program in the U.S. to help consumers identify the best tools for controlling and reducing allergen exposure in the home.

Medical experts advise that reducing exposure to dust mites should be a critical part of everyone's allergy and asthma management plan. "Dust mites are among the most common indoor allergens," says Clifford W. Bassett, MD, of the Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine. "We can't emphasize enough how important it is to get tested to learn if you have allergic sensitivities and to take steps to reduce exposure to dust mites."

Berkshire Life to pay $191,358 in latex allergy suit

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latex allergy PITTSFIELD — A federal jury has ordered Berkshire Life to pay the claims of a Connecticut woman who was forced to leave her job as a dental hygienist because of a latex allergy.

A jury in U.S. District Court in Springfield ordered Pittsfield-based Berkshire Life and its parent company, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of American, to pay $191,358 to Carolyn Mirek, of South Windsor, Conn.

Mirek filed the suit after Berkshire Life denied her disability claim. According to Mirek's attorney, Joanne D'Alcomo of the Boston firm Jager Smith, Mirek had worked for more than 18 years as a dental hygienist but stopped on the advice of her allergist.

Study suggests egg allergy treatment

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eggDURHAM, N.C., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say a pilot study suggests children allergic to eggs can overcome the allergy by gradually eating increased quantities of eggs.

Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center and theUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences said study participants who took a daily dose of egg product during a the two-year period were able to increase their bodies' resistance to the point where most could eat two scrambled eggs without a reaction.

"Egg allergies cause a significant decrease in quality of life for many people, so this study is exciting in that it brings us a step closer to being able to offer a meaningful therapy for these people," said Dr. A. Wesley Burks, chief of Duke's division of allergy and immunology and a senior member of the research team.

Asthmatics may have higher rate of mental disorders

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asthmaISLAMABAD - The results of a study published in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry suggest there is an association between asthma and a range of mental disorders.

Dr. Renee D. Goodwin, of Columbia University, New York, and colleagues studied a sample of 13,222 adults in Germany. Current and lifetime asthma cases were identified based on physician diagnosis, and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to assess current and lifetime mental disorders.

The researchers found that 2.7 percent of the subjects currently had asthma and 5.74 percent had a history of asthma.

ACAAI: Asthma Deaths Decline Worldwide

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asthmaPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 20 -- Asthma mortality rates are declining worldwide, largely due to increased use of inhaled corticosteroids to better manage the disease, according to a report from an international group of asthma researchers.

In Argentina, for example, a recent analysis found a negative correlation between annual deaths from asthma and sales of inhaled corticosteroids during the 1990s, said Hugo Neffen, M.D., president of the Argentine Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Cordoba, Argentina, at a symposium held in conjunction with the meeting of the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology here.

What to do if your child falls ill

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food allergy• What is cows' milk protein allergy? A reaction to one or more milk proteins.

• What are the symptoms? Rash, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation and distress. However, these symptoms have many causes.

• What is the most common cause of food allergy? Milk. It affects a minimum of two to three per cent of infants. Other common food allergens are egg, peanuts and tree nuts.

Diet might help to prevent allergy and asthma

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breast feedingReport suggests changes in European diets over the past 20-40 years may have contributed to the increased incidence of allergic diseases in both children and adults seen over this period.

The publication from the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA²LEN) provides new insights into the role that diet may play in the development of allergies, especially in children.

The prevalence of allergic diseases has increased dramatically over the past few decades, especially in children. One child in three is allergic today and one in two people in Europe are likely to be suffering from at least one allergy by 2015.

Experts address measures to curb rise in food allergies

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GA2LENThe growing number of people suffering from allergies is due to changes in European diets over the past 30 years, says a new review from the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN).

But by targeting several key areas, particularly how children are fed early in life, including breastfeeding, their early diet and increasing the use of pre- and probiotics could have a direct positive effect on the subsequent development of asthma and allergies.

According to the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations, an estimated four per cent of adults and eight per cent of children in the 380m EU population suffer from food allergies.

Majority of doctors 'missing milk allergy in babies'

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milk bottle The majority of family doctors are missing cows' milk allergy in babies despite it causing serious health problems, claims a new survey.

Four in five GPs are failing to make a correct diagnosis and even when they do spot it, more than half are wrongly recommending soy-based milk instead - which can pose a risk to long-term health.

The survey of doctors found most don't trust their own colleagues to make the correct diagnosis of cows' milk allergy - the most common allergic condition.

Cosmetic Manufacturers Obliged To List Ingredients

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cosmeticsCosmetic manufactures are required to list the ingredients of the products they are marketing, according to Canada's legislation.

"It's going to be phased in over the next two years to allow cosmetics companies to use up current stock while designing new labels for the ingredients. It's going to allow the Canadian public to make more informed choices and avoid cosmetics containing ingredients which they may be sensitive to," announced a spokesperson for Health Canada.

"In addition, physicians will be able to refer to an ingredient by its one name for the purpose of treatment or incident reporting. Now absolutely everything that's in the product is going to have to be written on the label," the spokesperson explained.

MedicAlert bracelets free for all elementary students

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medicalert braceletTORONTO -- Elementary school students with serious medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or severe allergies will have access to a free alert bracelet under a national program being launched on Monday.

Called "No Child Without," the new program run by the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation waives the fees normally associated with subscribing to the service and buying the special bracelet or necklet.

"Parents worry a great deal about how their child will communicate their medical condition in a crisis," Martin Kabat, president of the charitable foundation, said in a statement.

GSKGlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today welcomes new guidelines for Asthma Management and Prevention released today from The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). The guidelines emphasise that the overall aim of asthma treatment is to achieve and maintain long-term control of the disease and introduce a new classification of asthma based on levels of control1. Recommended treatment action is then based on the patient’s level of control.

Treatment recommendations continue to be based on the GINA 5-Step approach and the new guidelines continue to endorse use of an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in combination with a long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) at Steps 3 and 4 when a low dose of inhaled corticosteroid alone is not sufficient to achieve control. The guidelines highlight that physicians should view increased use of reliever medication as warning of deterioration of asthma control.

Asthma Linked to Early Smoke Exposure

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ashtrayYoung people who light up may find themselves sidelined with asthma. Early exposure to cigarette smoke is linked to the development of asthma in adolescents and teenagers.

Researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles tracked the smoking habits of 2,609 children and teens with no prior history of asthma. The study was held over the course of five to eight years, depending on the student's age at the beginning of the study. Participants who became regular smokers were more likely to develop asthma compared to non-smokers. Children who smoked 300 or more cigarettes per year were four times more likely to develop asthma than those who did not smoke.

"A year after they start smoking regularly, the risk triples for the development of asthma," study author Frank Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D, of the Keck School of Medicine and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles told Ivanhoe. "During adolescence, you're at risk for asthma, so it's not something you can start and stop and think you can reduce your risk for asthma later on."

Those With Nickel Allergies Can Still Find Braces

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Braces are a part of growing up for many children, but what if your child is allergic to the materials used in orthodontics, such as nickel?

Experts at Children's Mercy Hospital said those with nickel allergies can still go after that great smile and perfect bite.

Von Smith was concerned about her 11-year-old daughter, Kara, getting braces because she had severe skin reactions to nickel, which is used in the wire in most children's braces.

ACAAI: Expect More Generic Corticosteroids in the Future

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generic drugsPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 16 -- With the first generic version of a nasal corticosteroid approved this year, more can be expected, according to a presentation here.

The FDA approved a generic version of Flonase (fluticasone propionate) last February 2006, said Faud M. Baroody, M.D., of the Pritzker School of Medicine in Chicago at a symposium presented in conjunction with the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology meeting here.

The generic drug is manufactured by Roxane Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio. A check by Dr. Baroody at his local pharmacy found that a one-month supply of brand-name Flonase cost $96.99, compared with $77.99 for the generic version.

ACAAI: Asthma Linked to Depression And Smoking in Teens

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smokingPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 16 -- Teens with asthma are more likely to be depressed and to smoke than their non-asthmatic peers, according to a preliminary analysis of CDC survey data.

About 45% of adolescents with asthma reported feeling sad or hopeless during the previous year, compared with less than 30% of those without asthma (P<.05), reported Bruce G. Bender, Ph.D., of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, at an industry-sponsored symposium held in conjunction with the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology meeting here.

Dr. Bender and colleagues analyzed data from the CDC's 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which includes U.S. students from ninth through 12th grade. The survey results were released in June. The current analysis, not yet published, is the first to mine the data for information about links between asthma, depression, and risky health behavior, Dr. Bender said.

Allergic rhinitis rising worldwide

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allergic rhinitisPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- There is epidemiological evidence that the prevalence of allergic rhinitis is rising worldwide, according to U.S. researchers.

"Reports indicate (allergic rhinitis) has increased 100 percent in each of the last three decades in developed countries," said Dr. Eli O. Meltzer, co-director of the Allergy & Asthma Medical Group & Research Center and of the University of California in San Diego.

"With allergic disorders estimated to affect some 1.4 billion people globally, there appears to be a worldwide epidemic of allergic diseases. Studies suggest this is likely a consequence of our changing environment, reduced infections and genetic susceptibilities," said Meltzer.

kid with asthmaPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15 -- Children with asthma are more likely to have exacerbations requiring admission to the pediatric ICU in the late summer and early fall months, reported investigators here.

In a retrospective review of records of children admitted to a pediatric ICU for asthma exacerbations over a nine-year period, 41% of all admissions occurred during August, September, and October, reported Pulin Patel, D.O., of the Children's Hospital of Michigan/Detroit Medical Center, and colleagues.

But those exacerbations don't appear to correlate with the airborne concentrations of allergens prevalent at that time of year, suggesting that other factors may also be involved in triggering asthma exacerbations, the investigators wrote in a poster presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting.

ACAAI: When Inhaled Corticosteroids Fail, What Then?

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asthmaPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15 -- When inhaled corticosteroids don't adequately control a patient's asthma, the choice of next-best add-on therapy is open to debate.

So specialists did just that at a symposium, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, held in conjunction with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Each argued for one possible add-on therapy -- long-acting beta agonists, immunotherapy, leukotriene receptor antagonists, and plain old aspirin.

alternative allergy treatmetnPHILADELPHIA, Nov.15 -- Allergic reactions are among the most common side effects of complementary and alternative therapies, researchers reported here, but that doesn't stop patients with allergies from using them.

More than two-thirds of adult patients may use some form of complementary and alternative medicine, said Leonard Bielory, M.D., director of the Asthma & Allergy Research Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Physicians need to find a way to respect those practices and, indeed, incorporate them into their practices Dr. Bielory said at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting here.

Swedish firms join to stop allergy

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resistentiaTwo Swedish firms have joined together to make an investigational protein-based allergy drug for Phase III trials.

Contract manufacturer Biovitrum has been asked to undertake process development and clinical trial manufacturing of the biologic drug (RES 08) by its developers, Resistentia.

 

According to Marcus Bosson, CEO of Resistentia, Biovitrum was chosen due to its “vast experience with process development for Phase III biological clinical materials.”

 

New asthma book updates treatment

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asthmaAUSTRALIA - The latest medical and clinical research on treatment and diagnosis of asthma will be made available free of charge to doctors, pharmacists and other professionals who deal with asthma patients, via a new handbook.

The 6th edition of the Asthma Management Handbook, launched today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, updates the previous guidelines issued to Australian medical and health professionals.

Scratching Out Poison Ivy Allergy

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poison ivyPlagued by poison ivy allergy? It might be possible to coax the body to build up immunity to poison ivy.

That news comes from researchers including Mary Morris, MD, of Allergy Associates of La Crosse in La Crosse, Wis.

They studied 115 people with a history of severe skin reactions to poison ivy who were treated at their clinic over the past 15 years.

The treatment was a small amount of poison ivy extract placed under the tongue. The goal was to train the body's immune system not to overreact to poison ivy.

The patients took skin tests to see if the treatment helped.

Care Found Lacking for Many With Obstructive Lung Disease

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COPDLOS ANGELES, Nov. 14 -- Patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) get only half the care that they should, according to a national sample.

Although there are a variety of guidelines for the care of patients with obstructive lung disease, the extent to which they receive it has been largely unknown, said Richard Mularski, M.D., of the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System here, and researchers at Rand Health and UCLA School of Public Health.

The national sample found a grim story, with varying levels of routine and exacerbation care, as well standards of delivery (history taking, laboratory and radiologic studies, geographic location), and patient education, the investigators reported in the November issue of Chest.

ACAAI: Home is Where the Allergies Are

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allergyPHILADELPHIA -- Home is where the heart is, and increasingly, where allergens lie in wait.

For people with allergies and asthma, home sweet home could be masking a festering stew of molds, dust mites, noxious gases, building debris, and other unhealthy substances, suggested speakers at a symposium held at the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology meeting here.

Variables that can affect the severity of allergic rhinitis and asthma among the occupants of a given house included the age and condition of the house, type and condition of heating and cooling systems, humidity, air flow, indoor tobacco use, pets, and hygiene habits of the occupants, said James L. Sublett, M.D., of the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

ACAAI: Xopenex HFA Data

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xopenex MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Sepracor Inc. today announced that clinical data for XOPENEX HFA(R) (levalbuterol tartrate) Inhalation Aerosol were presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Philadelphia. This study compared safety and tolerability of cumulative doses of XOPENEX HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) MDI (metered-dose inhaler) with those from a racemic albuterol HFA MDI in a group of asthmatic subjects.

The results demonstrated that both (R)-albuterol systemic exposure and consequent beta-mediated adverse events were less following cumulative dosing with XOPENEX HFA when compared to cumulative dosing with racemic albuterol HFA MDI. Racemic albuterol HFA MDI contains both (R)- and (S)-albuterol, while XOPENEX HFA contains only (R)-albuterol.

cow milkMost young children who develop an allergy to cow's milk eventually "outgrow" it within a few years. Experiencing respiratory symptoms with the allergy, however — such as wheezing or runny nose — strongly predicts the likelihood that the allergy will persist considerably longer into childhood. That was the finding of a study presented here at the 52nd annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.


"We have known for a long time that food allergies can cause respiratory effects," said researcher Alessandro Fiochi, MD, from the University of Milan Medical School in Italy. "This is the first study that shows these symptoms can actually predict which children are most likely to have a longer-lasting problem with cow's milk allergy."

asthmaPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 13 -- Rodent allergies, particularly sensitivity to mouse allergens, are common among inner city children, and may be the primary triggers for moderate-to-severe asthma, reported researchers here.

A retrospective study showed that 31% of inner city children in a small sample were sensitive to mouse allergens, and 18.5% were sensitized to rat allergens, said Philip Hemmers, D.O., of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, .N.Y., and colleagues. 

"This study reinforces the importance of rodents in the allergic evaluation of inner-city children, especially those with moderate-severe asthma," the investigators wrote in a poster presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting.

 

ACAAI: Rush Immunotherapy Provides Rapid Results Safely

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allergyPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 13 -- Rush immunotherapy can cram into a few days some six to 12 months worth of allergy shots, safely and with a low risk of serious systemic reactions or anaphylaxis, said researchers here.

In separate studies presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting, investigators reported on the use of rapid allergen vaccination, also called rush immunotherapy, for safe, rapid desensitization of patients with allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and chronic rhinosinusitis.

 

The technique, although controversial because of its potential for inducing serious systemic reactions or anaphylaxis, can be safely used with proper selection of patients, premedication, and careful introduction of highly diluted antigens over a brief period, reported William Smits, M.D., in private practice in Fort Wayne, Ind.
GINAThe Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) today announced the release of a new Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. In a major revision of GINA's 2002 Global Strategy, the new guidelines put the emphasis on asthma control.  With appropriate treatment, most patients should be able to achieve and maintain control of all of the clinical manifestations of asthma, including symptoms, sleep disturbances, limitations of daily activity, impairment of lung function and use of rescue medications.

"The goal of asthma treatment, to achieve and maintain clinical control, can be reached in a majority of patients with a pharmacologic intervention strategy developed in partnership between the patient/family and the doctor" said Professor Paul O'Byrne, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Chair, GINA Executive Committee. "If we implement the management approaches described in the GINA report, there is a real chance of reducing morbidity and mortality associated with asthma.

Majority of Asthma Patients Remain Uncontrolled

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asthma Data Presented at ACAAI Show Patients with Uncontrolled Asthma Cope with Disease Impact on Daily Life

PHILADELPHIA /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of more than 1,300 asthma patients found that the majority of respondents (61 percent) had uncontrolled asthma based on their Asthma Control Test (ACT) score, and nearly one-third (29 percent) of those were not aware that their asthma was uncontrolled. Uncontrolled asthma may place patients at risk for increased symptoms, sudden attacks, hospitalization and even death from asthma.

The survey used the ACT, a clinically validated, patient-administered asthma assessment tool, to evaluate respondents' level of asthma control. The ACT is a five-item questionnaire which gives physicians and patients a simple yet predictive tool they can use to help assess asthma control. The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

medical researchPHILADELPHIA -- Adding the long-acting beta2-agonist Serevent (salmeterol) to an inhaled corticosteroid reduces the rate of asthma exacerbations and asthma-related hospitalizations, said researchers here. This was covered in New Options in COPD Therapy post.

Servent in combination with Flovent (fluticasone) was associated in the recent SMART (Salmeterol Multi-center Asthma Research Trial) study with severe asthma exacerbations, and an increased risk of life-threatening adverse events and respiratory deaths among African Americans, in particular. Those findings led the FDA to require a "black box" warning on long-acting beta2 agonists.

food allergyPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 12 -- Infants who are put on food-elimination diets to avoid allergens could be inadvertently robbed of the proteins and nutrients they need to grow, researchers warned here.

Children taking allergen avoidance diets may develop malnutrition due to the severe protein and caloric restrictions involved, said Michael B. Levy, M.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and colleagues.

In a presentation at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology meeting, the investigators reported on two patients in which the diets robbed the children of so many calories and nutrients that they developed failure to thrive.

‘Asthma Friendly' Toys in Stores Now for the Holidays

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AAFAGotta love this article. "Asthma-friendly" toys. And if the toy doesn't have this logo on it, does it mean it will cause asthma? By the way, I would think that all the toys must be asthma-friendly, not just the ones that have this logo. It looks to me that someone (AAFA) is trying to profit a bit on asthma topic. For me this "asthma-friendly" logo goes to the same line of marketing innovations such as "bio products", "without cholesterol", "asbestos free", etc.

HealthNewsDigest.com, WASHINGTON - Santa Claus can cross one item off his list this holiday: finding toys for children who have asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has already done the work for him by launching a creative new program to certify products as "asthma friendly(R)."

The "asthma friendly" certified toys are already on the shelves at major retailers including Target, Kohl's, Build-a-Bear Workshop, FAO Schwartz, Learning Express and many others. All Santa has to do is look for the asthma friendly(R) certification mark or visit http://www.asthmafriendly.com to find toys that have been scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for people with asthma and allergic sensitivities. Certified pillows will be available in December, and mattress and pillow protectors/encasements, vacuum cleaners, paints, flooring and other types of items will also be considered for certification next year.

Allergy-proof cats, again

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siberian catWheeze. Sneeze. Sniffle.

Recent news reports have dangled a stratospherically priced option for wannabe cat owners who are allergic to the bewhisker-ed, twitchy-tailed set. Just plunk down $3,950 (plus a $995 processing and transportation fee) for a hypoallergenic Allerca cat. (For an extra $1,950 "premium placement" fee, you can jump the two-year waiting list and get one next spring.)

Or you can just buy a Siberian for about $700.

"Siberian breeders have already bred a hypoallergenic cat, but people tend not to believe breeders," says cat geneticist Leslie Lyons of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. "And now here comes a company that says the same thing. It all comes down to marketing."

Role seen for complementary medicine in allergic diseases

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CAMComplementary or alternative medicine (CAM) has increased tremendously in popularity in the United States.

At a symposium held at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), a team of experts discussed the safety and efficacy of CAM for the management of allergic diseases.

"As the United States has reached the 300 million person mark and with the world population approaching 7 billion, only 10 percent and at most to 30 percent of our health care is actually delivered by what we consider conventional or biomedical-oriented practitioners," said Leonard Bielory, MD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and ophthalmology, and director, Asthma & Allergy Research Center at UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School in Newark.

Researchers link early pollen seasons to warmer weather

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pollen seasonsKANSAS CITY, Mo. - Researchers at Children's Mercy Hospital have analyzed a decade's worth of data and found what appears to be a trend of earlier pollen seasons, which they believe is triggered by rising temperatures.

The group has discovered that during the past 10 years the oak pollen season in Kansas City has begun, on average, a half day earlier each year. The findings were to be presented Saturday in Philadelphia at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

"It could be creating a longer growing season for oaks," said Charles Barnes, the Children's Mercy biochemist in charge of the hospital's daily mold and pollen counts. "You might have to start taking your allergy medicine earlier."

The Children's Mercy research is similar to other research worldwide that attributes earlier, longer and more miserable allergy seasons to global warming. Some researchers suggest that the growing abundance of pollen may be causing the rising rates of asthma and increases in hay fever, eczema and other allergies in many countries.

Island has city's lowest rate for severe childhood asthma

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staten island Staten Island has the city's lowest rate of childhood asthma hospitalizations, and last year the rate dropped even lower, the city Health Department said yesterday.

Asthma is a chronic disease that results in inflamed lungs that can easily get irritated, causing episodes of airway tightening and symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

In 2005, 2.5 of every 1,000 Island children were hospitalized with asthma-related problems, down 4 percent from 2004. That is lower than the national rate and compares with 5.4 children out of every 1,000 kids citywide in 2005.

Over the past eight years, the city's rate has declined by 43 percent, but remains higher than the national rate of 3.1 children per 1,000.

Treatments exist for women allergic to sex

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sexNEW YORK, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Breathing difficulties some women have after sexual intercourse could be an allergic reaction, doctors in the United States said.

In extreme cases, doctors said, some women experience difficulty breathing and hives after intercourse, ABCNew.com said. If women have an allergy, symptoms usually are milder -- a reddening and swelling of the vaginal area that disappear within a few hours.

Proteins in the semen are the culprits, ABCNews.com said, and using a condom is the simplest treatment. Also an antihistamine, a vagina-specific allergy medication or injections will help, especially if it is a mild reaction. But sufferers must visit their gynecologists to ensure no other infection is present.

New Options in COPD Therapy

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asthmaOnce-daily dosing with a very long-acting beta2-agonist (VLABA) would be a significant convenience and compliance-enhancing advantage leading to improved clinical outcomes in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A once-daily VLABA will pave the way for a fixed-combination inhaler: with an inhaled corticosteroid in asthma and COPD and an inhaled long-acting anticholinergic for use in COPD.

Carmoterol 

Carmoterol is one such new VLABA in clinical development for asthma and COPD, and clinical data on a new metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) formulation were presented at the European Respiratory Society 16th Annual Congress. Professor Peter Barnes led off the discussion addressing the need for such a very long-acting agent. The inhaled route is preferred over the oral route when using VLABA because both routes allow excellent smooth muscle relaxation and bronchodilation, and the mast cells that are involved in bronchoconstriction are positioned close to the airway lumen and accessible to the inhaled route. Therefore, drug delivery via the inhaled route provides a much better bronchoprotective effect than the oral route. An airway that is bronchodilated continuously for 24 hours expends theoretically much less energy than airways subjected to repetitive closure when short-acting agents are used. Prof. Jean Bousquet, from France, presented information on a new, once-daily long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA), carmoterol.

eczemaBackground: Patients with hand eczema frequently have a history of atopic dermatitis or atopy. No specific morphologic pattern of hand eczema helps distinguish atopic hand eczema from other etiologies. There are few studies of hand eczema prevalence and morphology in a well-defined population of patients with atopic dermatitis.

Methods: We evaluated 777 consecutive patients with atopic dermatitis (diagnosed by standard criteria) for hand involvement. An additional 100 patients had further evaluations, including evaluation of the historical and morphologic characteristics of their hand eczema.

coeliac allergyA CARLISLE mum became so fed up with the “tasteless, overpriced rubbish” offered to coeliac sufferers that she launched her own gluten-free café/takeaway.

Claire Singleton-Browne, who was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance 12 years ago, opened Claire’s Kitchen, on the Kingstown Industrial Estate, last month.

She came up with the idea after she and her son Matthew, 12, who is also a coeliac sufferer, found it virtually impossible to find good, gluten-free café and takeaway food in Carlisle.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat. Similar proteins which are harmful to coeliacs suffers are present in rye, barley and possibly oats.

Are you allergic to Sex?

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sexIn most cases, the best way to cope with a typical allergy is to simply steer clear of whatever it is you are allergic to. While this is sometimes inconvenient, it is certainly doable — that is, if you're allergic to penicillin, shellfish, peanuts, or cats.

But what if you are allergic to sex?

Believe it or not, there are women who literally break out whenever they have intercourse. And as most of them will tell you, abstinence is clearly not an acceptable option.

Unlike sufferers of other types of allergies, women who are allergic to sex don't get an "all over" rash. Typically, only the inner and outer vaginal areas get red and really swollen. Unlike when an infection is the culprit, there is no pain, discharge, itching or odor. And unlike most infections, the reaction occurs within minutes of intercourse rather than days later.

peanutsby Roger M.Grace

There are various foods which, to the vast majority of people, can be enjoyed without ill-effects…but can cause havoc to the body of anyone with an allergy to them. Among these foods are milk, eggs, soy and wheat—as well as fish and shellfish, to which U.S. District Court Judge George Schiavelli of Los Angeles can personally attest. (Fortunately, his wife, Holli, is quite fond of him and does not slip cod liver oil into his oatmeal.) And, yes, the peanut, subject of this current batch of columns, is also a common allergen.

Peanuts have been consumed for centuries, and been a popular snack in the U.S. since the mid-19th Century, devoid of controversy. But they’re now in the news—and are being described by some as “dangerous.”

The Wall Street Journal reported last week:

“An estimated 1.5 million Americans, including some 600,000 children, experience allergic reactions to peanuts, ranging from hives to nausea to sometimes-fatal anaphylactic shock. With most of the annual 150 food-allergy deaths blamed on peanuts, many schools have created peanut-free zones or gone totally ‘peanut free.’

Inflazyme completes recruitment in asthma trial

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inflazymeInflazyme Pharmaceuticals has successfully completed patient recruitment in its phase IIb trial with IPL512,602 for the treatment of moderate to severe asthma.

The phase IIb trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of once daily, oral dosing of IPL512,602 against placebo. Enrolled in the study are those patients with moderate to severe asthma who still experience significant symptoms which are not well controlled despite taking prescribed medications. IPL512,602 represents a new therapeutic approach that focuses on improving asthma control and reducing asthma symptoms.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of IPL512,602 on several measures of asthma control including asthma quality of life. Additional measures of asthma control include the incidence of night-time awakenings, need for rescue medication and asthma symptoms.

Inflazyme said that in a phase IIa study of IPL512,602 the patients who were most affected by their asthma going into the study appeared to derive the most benefit.

source - Pharmaceutical Business Review 

Exercise might lower kids' hay fever risk

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hay fever NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Regular physical activity might offer children some protection from the sniffs and sneezes of hay fever, a study suggests.

German researchers found that among the 1,700 children they followed for up to 12 years, those who were inactive at the study's start were 50 percent more likely to develop hay fever, compared with their regularly active peers.

According to the researchers, their findings are unlikely to be a case of "reverse causality," where hay fever caused some children to avoid outdoor activities. For one, the study followed the children over time, documenting new cases of hay fever. In addition, sedentary children were inactive year-round, not only during pollen season. 

Instead, the findings, published in the journal Allergy, suggest that regular exercise may somehow keep hay fever at bay.

Scandal over lethal drug sold as allergy remedy

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corhydronPoland’s Health Minister Zbigniew Religa put himself at the disposal of the Prime Minister after a scandal with wrongly labelled allergy injections.

Instead of hydrocortisone, sold under the name of “corhydron” and generally available from prescription pharmacists, ampoules manufactured in Jelenia Góra were released containing a drug used in surgery to relax muscles. Wrongly used, the drug can be lethal. The labelling mistake was first discovered a month ago, when two women collapsed after being treated with the medicine, although other reports say that the first incident with the drug was recorded as early as in June.

A Polish daily wrote about the scandal, as the manufacturer and the Health Ministry failed to inform of the danger.

Asthma sufferers picket Nissan

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nissanAsthma sufferers gathered outside Nissan Motor's Tokyo headquarters, demanding compensation for their suffering which, they claim, was caused by diesel gas fumes.

That according to an Agence France-Presse story, which counted about 100 protesters.

Japan began restricting diesel-fueled vehicles in 2003, and since then, asthma action groups have reached settlements with Toyota, Isuzu, Mazda and Mitsubishi. A letter from attorney Takao Nishimura accused Nissan of meeting regulations but being indifferent to the suffering caused before they were enacted.

source - AFP 

Asthma friendly award

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schoolThe Montclair School District has taken many steps to manage asthma in its school settings, and for its efforts, it last week received a statewide award.

Montclair’s 11 public schools were among 135 New Jersey schools serving more than 70,600 students that were presented the “Asthma Friendly School Award” from the Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey.

The school district was presented with the award on Nov. 2 at the Doubletree Hotel in Newark International Airport.

“It was kind of a surprise,” said Superintendent of Schools Frank Alvarez. “We knew there was a set of six criteria that the schools needed to meet. Our goal was to have every school achieve that certification, so we’ve been working on this since last spring.”

Dust mite allergy

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dust mitesDid you know that you could be sharing your bed with anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites? These microscopic organisms, which are related to spiders, live in many homes. Too small to see with the naked eye, dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments — eating dead skin cells and nesting in dust-collecting bedding, fabric, carpet and furnishings.

The residue that dust mites leave behind in the form of their feces and decaying bodies mixes with dust and becomes airborne. If you aren't allergic to dust mite residue, it's not harmful. But if you are, inhaling the residue can cause bothersome allergy symptoms, including wheezing, sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose.

One treatment for dust mite allergy is avoidance — that is, taking measures to minimize the number of dust mites in your home. Your doctor may also recommend allergy medications or allergy injections.

Aspirin allergy: What are the symptoms?

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aspirinAspirin sensitivity is common, especially in people with asthma or sinus problems. But a true aspirin allergy — in which your immune system overreacts to the drug — is rare. Signs and symptoms of aspirin allergy or sensitivity range from mild to serious and may include:
  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or face
  • Breathing difficulty or wheezing

These signs and symptoms usually occur within a few hours of taking the medication.

postnasal dripQuestion

My patient has both chronic postnasal drip syndrome (PNDS) and asthma, and received only 2 shots of immunotherapy. He experiences asthma exacerbation whenever he is exposed to wood, paper, carpet, or dust. (The immunotherapy shot has since been stopped.) Is PNDS linked to the development of asthma? How long does an allergic reaction to allergy shots last, and can it be managed?

Response from  William W Storms, MD
 
Director, The William Storms Allergy Clinic, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Clinical Professor, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado

This question pertains to a patient with postnasal drainage and asthma who received 2 immunotherapy shots and had asthma exacerbations when exposed to wood, carpet, paper, or dust.

 

Snorkel opens up new world

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medidive snorkelA snorkel built to carry an inhaler could open up a whole new undersea world for asthmatics.

The Australian-developed MediDive Asthma Freedom Snorkel houses the puffer within a silicon chamber attached to the mask, giving asthma sufferers easy access to medication at the press of a button.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show about 10 per cent of the population is affected by asthma.

Whole Foods recalls ice cream for possible allergy threat

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ice cream barWhole Foods Market is recalling ice cream bars that may contain undeclared almonds and could be harmful to people with certain food allergies.

Whole Foods said no illnesses have been reported. The recall is for packages of Whole Treat Organic Vanilla Ice Cream Bars Dipped in Chocolate with a best by date of August 2007.

The time stamp is greater than 21:25.

source 

asthma and copdThe total asthma and COPD population in 2006 is estimated to be 44.8 million and 28.8 million respectively. While the majority of patients are well controlled with current therapies, the remaining unmet needs are twofold: first, to find better options for the 1.7 million patients with severe asthma; second, to identify effective anti-inflammatory drugs in COPD.

Scope

  • Discussion and quantification of the patient potential and segmentation in both Asthma and COPD
  • Detailed overview and assessment of drugs in mid-to late stage clinical development, highlighting recent clinical trial results
  • Assessment of the remaining unmet clinical needs in both asthma and COPD, analyzing the potential of new targeted therapies
  • Ten year indication-based sales forecast to 2015 for major Phase III to recently launched drugs

asthmaThis study by Marceau and colleagues reviewed the treatment adherence as well as the effectiveness of combination therapy among adults with asthma. The study notes that the current international, Canadian, and US asthma treatment guidelines, including the Global Initiative for Asthma, call for severity-based management of asthma, employing both symptoms and pulmonary function testing.

The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines call for the addition of long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) to inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) when asthma is not well controlled using ICSs alone. The authors noted that both LABAs and ICSs have a complementary effect, addressing both bronchoconstriction and underlying airway inflammation. Both LABAs and ICSs may be given either concurrently (ie, with 2 separate inhalers) or in combination (ie, both medications in the same inhaler).

Carpets in workplace linked to adult asthma risk

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office carpetNEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being exposed to certain types of surface materials at work appears to increase adults' risk of developing asthma, a new study shows.

"These findings underline the need to consider the health aspects of materials used in floor, wall, and other indoor surfaces," Dr. Jouni J. K. Jaakkola of the University of Helsinki in Finland and colleagues conclude in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

A number of materials used in furnishing indoor environments may emit pollutants with the capacity to irritate the airways, the researchers note. While studies have linked certain materials, pollutants and even renovations to asthma in children, they add, there have been no reports on how such exposure might affect adults' asthma risk.

Home Remedies and Prevention for Cold, Flu and Allergy

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flu cold and allergyI am posting just an extract from Cold, Flu, and Allergy Guide which is related to home remedies for cold, flu and allergy:

Get Extra Bed Rest

Pluses: You'll recuperate faster and protect others from your germs.

Minuses:
Your schedule will have to change and you may miss a day or two of work.

Drink Extra Water

Uses: Keeps mucus membranes moist and can help control cough. Juices are OK, too, but skip drinks with caffeine.

Pluses: Cheap and easy.

Minuses: You'll spend more time in the bathroom.

Allergies are on the increase

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pet allergyby Aliki Nassoufis, German Press Agency

GERMANY - For many people contact with household pets is a normal part of their daily routine. But enjoyment of animals can quickly turn sour once a member of the family develops an allergy to a guinea pig or cat. That allergy can manifest itself in sneezing fits, respiratory problems and watery eyes.

In Germany, about 10 per cent of the population is allergic to house pets.

"From a medical standpoint the best thing to do is give the pet away," says Anja Schwalfenberg of Germany's Allergy and Asthma Association in Moenchengladbach.

Although such a measure seems drastic, a pet owner should weigh up how bad their allergy symptoms are without treatment as an allergy can lead to chronic asthma.

Lung DCs Legitimate Targets For Treating Asthma

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allergic asthmaAllergic asthma is caused by an unwanted immune response known as a Th2 cell response. Most treatments for asthma currently target this Th2 cell response and its downstream effects. However, immune cells known as dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial activators of all T cell responses, including the Th2 cell response in asthma, so therapies that target DC function in the airways might represent a new way to treat individuals with allergic asthma.

Now, in a study appearing in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Bart Lambrecht and colleagues from Erasmus University, The Netherlands, have shown that inhalation of the immunosuppressive drug FTY720 suppresses the symptoms of allergic asthma in a mouse model of the disease.

Inhalation of FTY720 suppressed the allergic Th2 cell response in the lungs by preventing lung DCs from leaving the lungs and going to the site at which they activate the allergic Th2 cell response. This demonstration that targeting lung DCs can suppress allergic asthma in mice might open new avenues of research for the development of drugs that target DC function to treat individuals with allergic asthma.

source 

Finding relief from allergies

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allergy shotThe prospect of weekly shots might send most kids running for the most convenient hiding place, but not 9-year-old Molly McGrady, who bounded into St. John's Allergy and Asthma Clinic with a smile on a recent Thursday afternoon.

"It doesn't hurt," Molly said of the weekly allergy shots she has been receiving for about a year. "I kind of look forward to it because my mom usually gives me a piece of candy afterwards."

The long-term benefits will be even sweeter, said her doctor, Gregory Lux.

"Allergy shots are like a vaccination program," said Lux, a board-certified allergist working at St. John's allergy clinic. "It desensitizes you to things that cause your allergies."

 

hardwood floorQuestion: I am getting rid of wall-to-wall carpeting because of the kids’ allergies. I want to replace it with hardwood floors. Will hardwood insulate as well as the carpet and what woods are best?

Answer: Hardwood is one of the most beautiful flooring materials and it is a natural, renewable resource. Even though wood is a reasonable insulator, it will not provide as much insulation as carpeting over a pad.

With its millions of tiny air pockets though, wood flooring does feel warm to your feet and its natural rich appearance creates a comfy ambiance. The insulation level of the flooring material does not have a significant impact upon utility bills. If your home is built over a crawl space, either insulate beneath the floor structure or the entire crawl space. For a house on a slab, insulate around the slab perimeter. If you have a basement, the temperature difference across the floor is insignificant.

Chemicals put hairdressers' careers on line

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hairdresserTens of thousands of hairdressers have a debilitating and career-threatening skin disease caused by the chemicals used in their job.

Junior hairdressers, who are usually assigned to work such as washing clients' hair, are most at risk, with up to 35 per cent developing occupational-contact dermatitis in the first two years of work.

The disease can cause skin to redden, swell, blister, flake, crack and itch.

Skin specialist Rosemary Nixon, of the Occupational Dermatology Research and Education Centre, in Melbourne, said the dermatitis was affecting tens of thousands of hairdressers and barbers.

egg proteinOTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 3, 2006) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Les Aliments Dang Ngoc Inc. are warning people with allergies to egg protein not to consume the Corn-O-Dog, a frankfurter on a stick, described below. The affected product contains egg protein which is not declared on the label.

All packages of the following product which do not declare the presence of egg are affected by this alert:

Corn-O-Dog, Frankfurter on a stick in a batter blanket, sold in 900 g size (12 x 75g) packages, bearing UPC 7 74981 80218 1.

This product was distributed in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

NY City asthma effort works

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asthma effectsThe number of children with emergency asthma attacks at the city's public hospitals dropped nearly 20 percent following a two-year monitoring campaign waged by the Bloomberg administration, The Post has learned.

The "asthma-management plan" includes comprehensive medical treatment of asthmatic kids and a one-page primer given to parents to help track their children's conditions, said city Health and Hospitals Corp. President Alan Aviles.

The result: 3,610 fewer pediatric emergency visits for asthma in 2005 compared to 2003 - a drop of 19 percent.

And there were 800 fewer pediatric hospital admissions related to asthma, HHC officials said - a 21 percent reduction.

 

childhood asthmaThis article summary is difficult to write, as it is likely one of the last articles that we will see published by Dr. Gail Shapiro, whose recent untimely death is a great loss for the medical community. She had a longstanding interest in childhood asthma and published this article to call attention to some of the factors that may be associated with persistent wheezing in young asthmatics who intermittently wheeze during their early years.

Shapiro noted that the level of bronchial hyperreactivity correlated with the persistence of wheezing in some studies that have tried to identify risk factors for persistent asthma. In addition, other features suggesting an increased risk of asthma persistence have included female gender, tobacco smoke exposure, parental history of asthma, and features of atopic disease (including rhinitis, eczema, and eosinophilia). She stated that the early expression of bronchial reactivity (eg, wheezing and coughing during viral infections) is a risk factor for persistent wheezing through childhood, with the earlier onset showing higher risk for increased disease severity compared with a later onset.

Newburgh: Bakery’s bread recalled

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baked breadThe state Agricultural Commission has recalled a batch of breads from Newburgh’s Maizteca Bakery on Washington Street because the bread was sold without an ingredients list.

The 1.5 pound packages of “Maizteca Mexican Bread” sold from the bakery at 215 Washington St. do not contain a label alerting consumers they contain milk, which could cause illness in people with food allergies.

No illness has been reported in connection with the bread, according to the state. The labeling problem was discovered during a routine sampling of breads by the Agricultural Commission.
Maizteca was previously cited for the same problem in March.

he state asks customers who bought the bread to return it to the point of purchase.

source 

allergic rhinitisA significant portion of the population suffers from allergic rhinitis. Rhinorrhea, sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy nose, and conjunctivitis are common symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, and antihistamines are considered a first-line treatment for the management of these symptoms.

Improvements in health-related quality of life and health status were measured in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of levocetirizine, a new antihistamine, in patients with persistent allergic rhinitis.

Patients recorded responses to the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) at the beginning of the randomization visit and at 1 and 4 weeks later, as well as at 3, 4.5, and 6 months after the randomization visits. Health status was also assessed using the Short Form (SF)-36 measure at all of the same time points, with the exception of Week 1.

How To Prevent Allergies In Your Infant

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infantResearch, good advice and those strong instincts that kick in after a child is born often guide a mother's choices for what she feeds her baby, but experts say new parents still have much to learn about how the foods they give their kids can affect their health.

Infant nutrition can be complicated and local pediatrician Dr. Nessa Bayer said the vast majority of new moms feel confident about their knowledge on the subject, but there is still confusion as to how some foods can aid in allergy prevention and development and can decrease digestion discomfort.

"Over the last 15 years, the rate of 40 percent increase of allergies in new babies," Bayer explained.

Inspire, FAES developing new allergy drug

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allergyDURHAM, N.C., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Inspire and FAES Farma said Wednesday they have signed a licensing deal on a new oral antihistamine for the U.S. and Canada markets.

The compound at the center of the development deal is bilastine, currently in phase 3 studies for the prevention of allergic rhinitis.

Under the terms of the agreement, Inspire has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize oral formulations of bilastine in the United States and Canada, as well as the exclusive right to develop and commercialize the ocular formulation in various markets worldwide.

Iran Produces Allergy Vaccine

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allergy vaccine TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran for the first time produced an internationally-approved anti-allergy vaccine, a member of Iran's Biotechnology Research Center said.

Dr. Shakour Omidi, who is a member of the research team of the project, said that the vaccine has been produced through cooperation between Biotechnology Research Center and the Association for Supporting Diabetic Patients. 

Cat Allergy: A Widespread Problem

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cat allergyCat is a well-known aeroallergen which may precipitate symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma in cat-sensitive individuals. When such patients are seen and evaluated, they are usually told to try and minimize their exposure to cat allergen. If they have a cat, they may be told to find a new home for the cat or to move it primarily outside. As a minimal step, they are asked to never let the cat into the bedroom.

Despite the best efforts to minimize cat allergen exposure in such patients, often they continue to have trouble. New technology to assess both airborne and settled allergen levels show that cat allergen can be found nearly everywhere in indoor environments. In this study, conducted in different locations in Europe, Heinrich and coworkers attempted to quantify the level of cat allergen in mattress dust and to determine whether there was a relationship between the levels of cat allergen in a given community and the level of specific IgE to cat.

Allergy Free Food?

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safe to eat product rangeI don't like posting Press Releases. I believe that many of them may not contain full information on the advertised product. However, the food allergy  and intolerance topic is very important in my opinion. And there are many people who are taking the fight against this allergy seriously.

"Safetoeat products aim to exclude ALL common sources of food allergens so everyone can enjoy delicious, good quality pre-prepared food that is suitable for ALL allergy and intolerance sufferers."

I let you read the article below. 

Doctor Talks About Effect Of Soy Oil On Allergy Sufferers

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soy allergyDES MOINES, Iowa -- KFC announced Monday it will start cooking with zero trans-fat soybean oil next spring.The changeover is good news for most consumers, but how will it affect people with soybean allergies?"It's a more common one. It's not as common as milk or peanut (allergies)," said allergist Dr. James Wille.

Wille said a relatively small percentage of us are significantly allergic to soy and he can understand why those people don't like the KFC cooking oil switch."I would be a little concerned that this is a new product and I would certainly go cautiously or at least talk with your doctor," Wille said.

Food allergy booklet will help 90,000 sufferers

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food allergyA new booklet aimed at New Zealand's 90,000 food allergy sufferers provides information that will help them make better choices when it comes to managing their allergy, says Food Safety Minister Annette King.

Ms King and New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) Executive Director Andrew McKenzie launched the booklet at the NZFSA conference in Auckland today.

Eating Safely When You Have Food Allergies explains the symptoms and diagnosis of food allergies, includes information on what to look for on food labels, and has tips for maintaining a healthy diet, says Ms King. The full-colour 24-page booklet has been written by NZFSA food allergy dietitian Amber Parry-Strong, with input from Allergy New Zealand.