PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (1079324)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States 
Food allergy is an important public health problem that affects children and adults and may be increasing in prevalence. Despite the risk of severe allergic reactions and even death, there is no current treatment for food allergy: the disease can only be managed by allergen avoidance or treatment of symptoms. The diagnosis and management of food allergy also may vary from one clinical practice setting to another. Finally, because patients frequently confuse nonallergic food reactions, such as food intolerance, with food allergies, there is an unfounded belief among the public that food allergy prevalence is higher than it truly is. In response to these concerns, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, working with 34 professional organizations, federal agencies, and patient advocacy groups, led the development of clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy. These Guidelines are intended for use by a wide variety of health care professionals, including family practice physicians, clinical specialists, and nurse practitioners. The Guidelines include a consensus definition for food allergy, discuss comorbid conditions often associated with food allergy, and focus on both IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated reactions to food. Topics addressed include the epidemiology, natural history, diagnosis, and management of food allergy, as well as the management of severe symptoms and anaphylaxis. These Guidelines provide 43 concise clinical recommendations and additional guidance on points of current controversy in patient management. They also identify gaps in the current scientific knowledge to be addressed through future research.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2010.10.007
PMCID: PMC4241964  PMID: 21134576
food; allergy; anaphylaxis; diagnosis; disease management; guidelines
2.  Diagnosis and management of non-IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy in infancy - a UK primary care practical guide 
The UK NICE guideline on the Diagnosis and Assessment of Food Allergy in Children and Young People was published in 2011, highlighting the important role of primary care physicians, dietitians, nurses and other community based health care professionals in the diagnosis and assessment of IgE and non-IgE-mediated food allergies in children. The guideline suggests that those with suspected IgE-mediated disease and those suspected to suffer from severe non-IgE-mediated disease are referred on to secondary or tertiary level care. What is evident from this guideline is that the responsibility for the diagnostic food challenge, ongoing management and determining of tolerance to cow’s milk in children with less severe non-IgE-mediated food allergies is ultimately that of the primary care/community based health care staff, but this discussion fell outside of the current NICE guideline. Some clinical members of the guideline development group (CV, JW, ATF, TB) therefore felt that there was a particular need to extend this into a more practical guideline for cow’s milk allergy. This subset of the guideline development group with the additional expertise of a paediatric gastroenterologist (NS) therefore aimed to produce a UK Primary Care Guideline for the initial clinical recognition of all forms of cow’s milk allergy and the ongoing management of those with non-severe non-IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy in the form of algorithms. These algorithms will be discussed in this review paper, drawing on guidance primarily from the UK NICE guideline, but also from the DRACMA guidelines, ESPGHAN guidelines, Australian guidelines and the US NIAID guidelines.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-3-23
PMCID: PMC3716921  PMID: 23835522
Cow’s milk allergy; Primary care; Food allergy; Diagnosis; Management; Hypoallergenic formula
3.  The acute and long-term management of food allergy: protocol for a rapid systematic review 
Background
Allergic reactions to plant and animal derived food allergens can have serious consequences for sufferers and their families. The associated social, emotional and financial costs make it a priority to understand the best ways of managing such immune-mediated hypersensitivity responses. Conceptually, there are two main approaches to managing food allergy: those targeting immediate symptoms and those aiming to support long-term management of the condition. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology is developing guidelines about what constitutes an effective treatment for food allergies. As part of the guidelines development process, a systematic review is planned to examine published research about the management of food allergy in adults and children.
Methods
Seven bibliographic databases were searched from their inception to September 30, 2012 for systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, quasi-randomized controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, controlled before-and-after studies and interrupted time series. Experts were consulted for additional studies. There were no language or geographic restrictions. Studies were critically appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program and Cochrane EPOC Risk of Bias tools. Only studies where people had a diagnosis of food allergy or reported a history of food allergy were included. This means that many studies of conditions that may be caused by food allergy are omitted, because only research in people with an explicit diagnosis or history was eligible.
Discussion
Many initiatives have been tested to treat the immediate symptoms of food allergy (acute management) and to deal with longer lasting symptoms or induce tolerability to potential allergens (long-term management). The best management strategies for people with food allergy are likely to depend on the type of allergy, symptom manifestations and age. There is a real need to increase the amount of high quality research devoted to treatment strategies for food allergy. Food allergy can be debilitating and is affecting an increasing number of children and adults. With such little known about how to effectively manage the condition and its manifestations, this appears a priority for future research.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-3-12
PMCID: PMC3637062  PMID: 23547741
Food allergy; LgE-mediated; Management; Treatment
4.  Nutritional management and follow up of infants and children with food allergy: Italian Society of Pediatric Nutrition/Italian Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Task Force Position Statement 
Although the guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of food allergy recognize the role of nutrition, there is few literature on the practical issues concerning the nutritional management of children with food allergies.
This Consensus Position Statement focuses on the nutritional management and follow-up of infants and children with food allergy.
It provides practical advices for the management of children on exclusion diet and it represents an evidence-based consensus on nutritional intervention and follow-up of infants and children with food allergy.
Children with food allergies have poor growth compared to non-affected subjects directly proportional to the quantity of foods excluded and the duration of the diet. Nutritional intervention, if properly planned and properly monitored, has proven to be an effective mean to substantiate a recovery in growth.
Nutritional intervention depends on the subject’s nutritional status at the time of the diagnosis.
The assessment of the nutritional status of children with food allergies should follow a diagnostic pathway that involves a series of successive steps, beginning from the collection of a detailed diet-history.
It is essential that children following an exclusion diet are followed up regularly.
The periodic re-evaluation of the child is needed to assess the nutritional needs, changing with the age, and the compliance to the diet.
The follow- up plan should be established on the basis of the age of the child and following the growth pattern.
doi:10.1186/1824-7288-40-1
PMCID: PMC3914356  PMID: 24386882
Food allergy; Nutritional status; Dietary intake; Cow's milk allergy; Follow-up
5.  Guideline on allergen-specific immunotherapy in IgE-mediated allergic diseases 
Allergo Journal International  2014;23(8):282-319.
Summary
The present guideline (S2k) on allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) was established by the German, Austrian and Swiss professional associations for allergy in consensus with the scientific specialist societies and professional associations in the fields of otolaryngology, dermatology and venereology, pediatric and adolescent medicine, pneumology as well as a German patient organization (German Allergy and Asthma Association; Deutscher Allergie- und Asthmabund, DAAB) according to the criteria of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften, AWMF).
AIT is a therapy with disease-modifying effects. By administering allergen extracts, specific blocking antibodies, toler-ance-inducing cells and mediators are activated. These prevent further exacerbation of the allergen-triggered immune response, block the specific immune response and attenuate the inflammatory response in tissue.
Products for SCIT or SLIT cannot be compared at present due to their heterogeneous composition, nor can allergen concentrations given by different manufacturers be compared meaningfully due to the varying methods used to measure their active ingredients. Non-modified allergens are used for SCIT in the form of aqueous or physically adsorbed (depot) extracts, as well as chemically modified allergens (allergoids) as depot extracts. Allergen extracts for SLIT are used in the form of aqueous solutions or tablets.
The clinical efficacy of AIT is measured using various scores as primary and secondary study endpoints. The EMA stipulates combined symptom and medication scores as primary endpoint. A harmonization of clinical endpoints, e. g., by using the combined symptom and medication scores (CSMS) recommended by the EAACI, is desirable in the future in order to permit the comparison of results from different studies. The current CONSORT recommendations from the ARIA/GA2LEN group specify standards for the evaluation, presentation and publication of study results.
According to the Therapy allergen ordinance (TAV), preparations containing common allergen sources (pollen from grasses, birch, alder, hazel, house dust mites, as well as bee and wasp venom) need a marketing authorization in Germany. During the marketing authorization process, these preparations are examined regarding quality, safety and efficacy. In the opinion of the authors, authorized allergen preparations with documented efficacy and safety, or preparations tradeable under the TAV for which efficacy and safety have already been documented in clinical trials meeting WAO or EMA standards, should be preferentially used. Individual formulations (NPP) enable the prescription of rare allergen sources (e.g., pollen from ash, mugwort or ambrosia, mold Alternaria, animal allergens) for specific immunotherapy. Mixing these allergens with TAV allergens is not permitted.
Allergic rhinitis and its associated co-morbidities (e. g., bronchial asthma) generate substantial direct and indirect costs. Treatment options, in particular AIT, are therefore evaluated using cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses. From a long-term perspective, AIT is considered to be significantly more cost effective in allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma than pharmacotherapy, but is heavily dependent on patient compliance.
Meta-analyses provide unequivocal evidence of the efficacy of SCIT and SLIT for certain allergen sources and age groups. Data from controlled studies differ in terms of scope, quality and dosing regimens and require product-specific evaluation. Therefore, evaluating individual preparations according to clearly defined criteria is recommended. A broad transfer of the efficacy of certain preparations to all preparations administered in the same way is not endorsed. The website of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (www.dgaki.de/leitlinien/s2k-leitlinie-sit; DGAKI: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allergologie und klinische Immunologie) provides tables with specific information on available products for AIT in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The tables contain the number of clinical studies per product in adults and children, the year of market authorization, underlying scoring systems, number of randomized and analyzed subjects and the method of evaluation (ITT, FAS, PP), separately given for grass pollen, birch pollen and house dust mite allergens, and the status of approval for the conduct of clinical studies with these products.
Strong evidence of the efficacy of SCIT in pollen allergy-induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in adulthood is well-documented in numerous trials and, in childhood and adolescence, in a few trials. Efficacy in house dust mite allergy is documented by a number of controlled trials in adults and few controlled trials in children. Only a few controlled trials, independent of age, are available for mold allergy (in particular Alternaria). With regard to animal dander allergies (primarily to cat allergens), only small studies, some with methodological deficiencies are available. Only a moderate and inconsistent therapeutic effect in atopic dermatitis has been observed in the quite heterogeneous studies conducted to date. SCIT has been well investigated for individual preparations in controlled bronchial asthma as defined by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) 2007 and intermittent and mild persistent asthma (GINA 2005) and it is recommended as a treatment option, in addition to allergen avoidance and pharmacotherapy, provided there is a clear causal link between respiratory symptoms and the relevant allergen.
The efficacy of SLIT in grass pollen-induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis is extensively documented in adults and children, whilst its efficacy in tree pollen allergy has only been shown in adults. New controlled trials (some with high patient numbers) on house dust mite allergy provide evidence of efficacy of SLIT in adults.
Compared with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, there are only few studies on the efficacy of SLIT in allergic asthma. In this context, newer studies show an efficacy for SLIT on asthma symptoms in the subgroup of grass pollen allergic children, adolescents and adults with asthma and efficacy in primary house dust mite allergy-induced asthma in adolescents aged from 14 years and in adults.
Aspects of secondary prevention, in particular the reduction of new sensitizations and reduced asthma risk, are important rationales for choosing to initiate treatment early in childhood and adolescence. In this context, those products for which the appropriate effects have been demonstrated should be considered.
SCIT or SLIT with pollen or mite allergens can be performed in patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis using allergen extracts that have been proven to be effective in at least one double-blind placebo-controlled (DBPC) study. At present, clinical trials are underway for the indication in asthma due to house dust mite allergy, some of the results of which have already been published, whilst others are still awaited (see the DGAKI table “Approved/potentially completed studies” via www.dgaki.de/Leitlinien/s2k-Leitlinie-sit (according to www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu)). When establishing the indication for AIT, factors that favour clinical efficacy should be taken into consideration. Differences between SCIT and SLIT are to be considered primarily in terms of contraindications. In individual cases, AIT may be justifiably indicated despite the presence of contraindications.
SCIT injections and the initiation of SLIT are performed by a physician experienced in this type of treatment and who is able to administer emergency treatment in the case of an allergic reaction. Patients must be fully informed about the procedure and risks of possible adverse events, and the details of this process must be documented (see “Treatment information sheet”; available as a handout via www.dgaki.de/Leitlinien/s2k-Leitlinie-sit). Treatment should be performed according to the manufacturer‘s product information leaflet. In cases where AIT is to be performed or continued by a different physician to the one who established the indication, close cooperation is required in order to ensure that treatment is implemented consistently and at low risk. In general, it is recommended that SCIT and SLIT should only be performed using preparations for which adequate proof of efficacy is available from clinical trials.
Treatment adherence among AIT patients is lower than assumed by physicians, irrespective of the form of administration. Clearly, adherence is of vital importance for treatment success. Improving AIT adherence is one of the most important future goals, in order to ensure efficacy of the therapy.
Severe, potentially life-threatening systemic reactions during SCIT are possible, but – providing all safety measures are adhered to – these events are very rare. Most adverse events are mild to moderate and can be treated well.
Dose-dependent adverse local reactions occur frequently in the mouth and throat in SLIT. Systemic reactions have been described in SLIT, but are seen far less often than with SCIT. In terms of anaphylaxis and other severe systemic reactions, SLIT has a better safety profile than SCIT.
The risk and effects of adverse systemic reactions in the setting of AIT can be effectively reduced by training of personnel, adhering to safety standards and prompt use of emergency measures, including early administration of i. m. epinephrine. Details on the acute management of anaphylactic reactions can be found in the current S2 guideline on anaphylaxis issued by the AWMF (S2-AWMF-LL Registry Number 061-025).
AIT is undergoing some innovative developments in many areas (e. g., allergen characterization, new administration routes, adjuvants, faster and safer dose escalation protocols), some of which are already being investigated in clinical trials.
Cite this as Pfaar O, Bachert C, Bufe A, Buhl R, Ebner C, Eng P, Friedrichs F, Fuchs T, Hamelmann E, Hartwig-Bade D, Hering T, Huttegger I, Jung K, Klimek L, Kopp MV, Merk H, Rabe U, Saloga J, Schmid-Grendelmeier P, Schuster A, Schwerk N, Sitter H, Umpfenbach U, Wedi B, Wöhrl S, Worm M, Kleine-Tebbe J. Guideline on allergen-specific immunotherapy in IgE-mediated allergic diseases – S2k Guideline of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI), the Society for Pediatric Allergy and Environmental Medicine (GPA), the Medical Association of German Allergologists (AeDA), the Austrian Society for Allergy and Immunology (ÖGAI), the Swiss Society for Allergy and Immunology (SGAI), the German Society of Dermatology (DDG), the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (DGHNO-KHC), the German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ), the Society for Pediatric Pneumology (GPP), the German Respiratory Society (DGP), the German Association of ENT Surgeons (BV-HNO), the Professional Federation of Paediatricians and Youth Doctors (BVKJ), the Federal Association of Pulmonologists (BDP) and the German Dermatologists Association (BVDD). Allergo J Int 2014;23:282–319
doi:10.1007/s40629-014-0032-2
PMCID: PMC4479478  PMID: 26120539
allergen-specific immunotherapy; AIT; Hyposensitization; guideline; allergen; allergen extract; allergic disease; allergic rhinitis; allergic asthma
6.  Diagnosis and treatment of pediatric food allergy: an update 
The prevalence of pediatric food allergy and anaphylaxis has increased in the last decades, especially in westernized countries where this emerging phenomenon was marked as a “second wave” of the allergic epidemic. Over recent years great advances have been achieved in the field of in vitro allergy testing and component-resolved diagnosis has increasingly entered clinical practice. Testing for allergen components can contribute to a more precise diagnosis by discriminating primary from cross-reactive sensitizations and assessing the risk of severe allergic reactions.
The basic concept of the management of food allergy in children is also changing. Avoidance of the offending food is still the mainstay for disease management, especially in primary health care settings, but it severely affects the patients’ quality of life without reducing the risk of accidental allergic reactions. There is a growing body of evidence to show that specific oral tolerance induction can represent a promising treatment option for food allergic patients. In parallel, education of food allergic patients and their caregivers as well as physicians about anaphylaxis and its treatment is becoming recognized a fundamental need. International guidelines have recently integrated these new evidences and their broad application all over Europe represents the new challenge for food allergy specialists.
doi:10.1186/s13052-014-0108-0
PMCID: PMC4339416  PMID: 25880827
Anaphylaxis; Avoidance; Children; Component-resolved diagnosis; Food allergy; Specific oral tolerance induction
7.  Research needs in allergy: an EAACI position paper, in collaboration with EFA 
Papadopoulos, Nikolaos G | Agache, Ioana | Bavbek, Sevim | Bilo, Beatrice M | Braido, Fulvio | Cardona, Victoria | Custovic, Adnan | deMonchy, Jan | Demoly, Pascal | Eigenmann, Philippe | Gayraud, Jacques | Grattan, Clive | Heffler, Enrico | Hellings, Peter W | Jutel, Marek | Knol, Edward | Lötvall, Jan | Muraro, Antonella | Poulsen, Lars K | Roberts, Graham | Schmid-Grendelmeier, Peter | Skevaki, Chrysanthi | Triggiani, Massimo | vanRee, Ronald | Werfel, Thomas | Flood, Breda | Palkonen, Susanna | Savli, Roberta | Allegri, Pia | Annesi-Maesano, Isabella | Annunziato, Francesco | Antolin-Amerigo, Dario | Apfelbacher, Christian | Blanca, Miguel | Bogacka, Ewa | Bonadonna, Patrizia | Bonini, Matteo | Boyman, Onur | Brockow, Knut | Burney, Peter | Buters, Jeroen | Butiene, Indre | Calderon, Moises | Cardell, Lars Olaf | Caubet, Jean-Christoph | Celenk, Sevcan | Cichocka-Jarosz, Ewa | Cingi, Cemal | Couto, Mariana | deJong, Nicolette | Del Giacco, Stefano | Douladiris, Nikolaos | Fassio, Filippo | Fauquert, Jean-Luc | Fernandez, Javier | Rivas, Montserrat Fernandez | Ferrer, Marta | Flohr, Carsten | Gardner, James | Genuneit, Jon | Gevaert, Philippe | Groblewska, Anna | Hamelmann, Eckard | Hoffmann, Hans Jürgen | Hoffmann-Sommergruber, Karin | Hovhannisyan, Lilit | Hox, Valérie | Jahnsen, Frode L | Kalayci, Ömer | Kalpaklioglu, Ayse Füsun | Kleine-Tebbe, Jörg | Konstantinou, George | Kurowski, Marcin | Lau, Susanne | Lauener, Roger | Lauerma, Antti | Logan, Kirsty | Magnan, Antoine | Makowska, Joanna | Makrinioti, Heidi | Mangina, Paraskevi | Manole, Felicia | Mari, Adriano | Mazon, Angel | Mills, Clare | Mingomataj, ErvinÇ | Niggemann, Bodo | Nilsson, Gunnar | Ollert, Markus | O'Mahony, Liam | O'Neil, Serena | Pala, Gianni | Papi, Alberto | Passalacqua, Gianni | Perkin, Michael | Pfaar, Oliver | Pitsios, Constantinos | Quirce, Santiago | Raap, Ulrike | Raulf-Heimsoth, Monika | Rhyner, Claudio | Robson-Ansley, Paula | Alves, Rodrigo Rodrigues | Roje, Zeljka | Rondon, Carmen | Rudzeviciene, Odilija | Ruëff, Franziska | Rukhadze, Maia | Rumi, Gabriele | Sackesen, Cansin | Santos, Alexandra F | Santucci, Annalisa | Scharf, Christian | Schmidt-Weber, Carsten | Schnyder, Benno | Schwarze, Jürgen | Senna, Gianenrico | Sergejeva, Svetlana | Seys, Sven | Siracusa, Andrea | Skypala, Isabel | Sokolowska, Milena | Spertini, Francois | Spiewak, Radoslaw | Sprikkelman, Aline | Sturm, Gunter | Swoboda, Ines | Terreehorst, Ingrid | Toskala, Elina | Traidl-Hoffmann, Claudia | Venter, Carina | Vlieg-Boerstra, Berber | Whitacker, Paul | Worm, Margitta | Xepapadaki, Paraskevi | Akdis, Cezmi A
In less than half a century, allergy, originally perceived as a rare disease, has become a major public health threat, today affecting the lives of more than 60 million people in Europe, and probably close to one billion worldwide, thereby heavily impacting the budgets of public health systems. More disturbingly, its prevalence and impact are on the rise, a development that has been associated with environmental and lifestyle changes accompanying the continuous process of urbanization and globalization. Therefore, there is an urgent need to prioritize and concert research efforts in the field of allergy, in order to achieve sustainable results on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this most prevalent chronic disease of the 21st century.
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is the leading professional organization in the field of allergy, promoting excellence in clinical care, education, training and basic and translational research, all with the ultimate goal of improving the health of allergic patients. The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) is a non-profit network of allergy, asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) patients’ organizations. In support of their missions, the present EAACI Position Paper, in collaboration with EFA, highlights the most important research needs in the field of allergy to serve as key recommendations for future research funding at the national and European levels.
Although allergies may involve almost every organ of the body and an array of diverse external factors act as triggers, there are several common themes that need to be prioritized in research efforts. As in many other chronic diseases, effective prevention, curative treatment and accurate, rapid diagnosis represent major unmet needs. Detailed phenotyping/endotyping stands out as widely required in order to arrange or re-categorize clinical syndromes into more coherent, uniform and treatment-responsive groups. Research efforts to unveil the basic pathophysiologic pathways and mechanisms, thus leading to the comprehension and resolution of the pathophysiologic complexity of allergies will allow for the design of novel patient-oriented diagnostic and treatment protocols. Several allergic diseases require well-controlled epidemiological description and surveillance, using disease registries, pharmacoeconomic evaluation, as well as large biobanks. Additionally, there is a need for extensive studies to bring promising new biotechnological innovations, such as biological agents, vaccines of modified allergen molecules and engineered components for allergy diagnosis, closer to clinical practice. Finally, particular attention should be paid to the difficult-to-manage, precarious and costly severe disease forms and/or exacerbations. Nonetheless, currently arising treatments, mainly in the fields of immunotherapy and biologicals, hold great promise for targeted and causal management of allergic conditions. Active involvement of all stakeholders, including Patient Organizations and policy makers are necessary to achieve the aims emphasized herein.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-2-21
PMCID: PMC3539924  PMID: 23121771
Allergy; Allergic diseases; Policy; Research needs; Research funding; Europe
8.  Referrals to a regional allergy clinic - an eleven year audit 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:790.
Background
Allergy is a serious and apparently increasing public health problem yet relatively little is known about the types of allergy seen in routine tertiary practice, including their spatial distribution, co-occurrence or referral patterns. This study reviewed referrals over an eleven year period to a regional allergy clinic that had a well defined geographical boundary. For those patients confirmed as having an allergy we explored: (i) differences over time and by demographics, (ii) types of allergy, (iii) co-occurrence, and (iv) spatial distributions.
Methods
Data were extracted from consultant letters to GPs, from September 1998 to September 2009, for patients confirmed as having an allergy. Other data included referral statistics and population data by postcode. Simple descriptive analysis was used to describe types of allergy. We calculated 11 year standardised morbidity ratios for postcode districts and checked for spatial clustering. We present maps showing 11 year rates by postcode, and 'difference' maps which try to separate referral effect from possible environmental effect.
Results
Of 5778 referrals, 961 patients were diagnosed with an allergy. These were referred by a total of 672 different GPs. There were marked differences in referral patterns between GP practices and also individual GPs. The mean age of patients was 35 and there were considerably more females (65%) than males. Airborne allergies were the most frequent (623), and there were very high rates of co-occurrence of pollen, house dust mite, and animal hair allergies. Less than half (410) patients had a food allergy, with nuts, fruit, and seafood being the most common allergens. Fifteen percent (142) had both a food and a non-food allergy. Certain food allergies were more likely to co-occur, for example, patients allergic to dairy products were more likely to be allergic to egg.
There were age differences by types of allergy; people referred with food allergies were on average 5 years younger than those with other allergies, and those allergic to nuts were much younger (26 Vs 38) than those with other food allergies.
There was clear evidence for spatial clustering with marked clustering around the referral hospital. However, the geographical distribution varied between allergies; airborne (particularly pollen allergies) clustered in North Dartmoor and Exmoor, food allergies (particularly nut allergies) in the South Hams, and on small numbers, some indication of seafood allergy in the far south west of Cornwall and in the Padstow area.
Conclusions
This study shows marked geographical differences in allergy referrals which are likely to reflect a combination of environmental factors and GP referral patterns. The data suggest that GPs may benefit from education and ongoing decision support and be supported by public education on the nature of allergy. It suggests further research into what happens to patients with allergy where there has been low use of tertiary services and further research into cross-reactivity and co-occurrence, and spatial distribution of allergy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-790
PMCID: PMC3022859  PMID: 21190546
9.  Food allergy knowledge, attitudes and beliefs: Focus groups of parents, physicians and the general public 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:36.
Background
Food allergy prevalence is increasing in US children. Presently, the primary means of preventing potentially fatal reactions are avoidance of allergens, prompt recognition of food allergy reactions, and knowledge about food allergy reaction treatments. Focus groups were held as a preliminary step in the development of validated survey instruments to assess food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of parents, physicians, and the general public.
Methods
Eight focus groups were conducted between January and July of 2006 in the Chicago area with parents of children with food allergy (3 groups), physicians (3 groups), and the general public (2 groups). A constant comparative method was used to identify the emerging themes which were then grouped into key domains of food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs.
Results
Parents of children with food allergy had solid fundamental knowledge but had concerns about primary care physicians' knowledge of food allergy, diagnostic approaches, and treatment practices. The considerable impact of children's food allergies on familial quality of life was articulated. Physicians had good basic knowledge of food allergy but differed in their approach to diagnosis and advice about starting solids and breastfeeding. The general public had wide variation in knowledge about food allergy with many misconceptions of key concepts related to prevalence, definition, and triggers of food allergy.
Conclusion
Appreciable food allergy knowledge gaps exist, especially among physicians and the general public. The quality of life for children with food allergy and their families is significantly affected.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-36
PMCID: PMC2564918  PMID: 18803842
10.  Diagnosis of food allergies: the impact of oral food challenge testing 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2013;3(1):59-69.
A diagnosis of food allergies should be made based on the observation of allergic symptoms following the intake of suspected foods and the presence of allergen-specific IgE antibodies. The oral food challenge (OFC) test is the most reliable clinical procedure for diagnosing food allergies. Specific IgE testing of allergen components as well as classical crude allergen extracts helps to make a more specific diagnosis of food allergies. The Japanese Society of Pediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology issued the 'Japanese Pediatric Guideline for Food Allergy 2012' to provide information regarding the standardized diagnosis and management of food allergies. This review summarizes recent progress in the diagnosis of food allergies, focusing on the use of specific IgE tests and the OFC procedure in accordance with the Japanese guidelines.
doi:10.5415/apallergy.2013.3.1.59
PMCID: PMC3563023  PMID: 23404053
Food hypersensitivity; Immunoglobulin E; Oral food challenge
11.  The effects of elimination diet on nutritional status in subjects with atopic dermatitis 
Nutrition Research and Practice  2013;7(6):488-494.
A food allergy is an adverse health effect arising from a specific immune response that occurs reproducibly upon exposure to a given food. In those with food allergies that are thought to cause aggravation of eczema, food avoidance is important. The objective of this study was to research the nutritional status of patients with food allergies. A total of 225 subjects diagnosed with atopic dermatitis underwent a skin prick test as well as measurement of serum immunoglobulin E. Food challenge tests were conducted using seven food items: milk, eggs, wheat, soybeans, beef, pork, and chicken. At post-food challenge visits to the test clinic, participants completed a three-day dietary record, which included two week days and one weekend day, in order to evaluate energy intake and diet quality during the challenge. We analyzed nutrient intake based on differential food allergens. Subjects with a food allergy to milk showed lower intake of Ca, Zn, and vitamin B2, and subjects with a food allergy to egg showed lower intake of vitamin A, B1, B2, niacin, and cholesterol. Subjects with a food allergy to wheat and soybean showed lower intake of Ca, P, Fe, K, Zn, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and niacin; and subjects with a food allergy to beef, pork, and chicken showed lower intake of Fe and higher intake of K, vitamin A, B2. Subjects with atopic dermatitis were lacking in several nutrients, including vitamin A and vitamin C. A greater number of food allergies showed an association with a greater number of nutrient intake deficiencies. Allergen avoidance is the basic treatment for atopic dermatitis. However, when the allergen is food, excessive restriction can lead to nutrition deficiency. Findings of this study suggest the necessity for enhanced nutritional education in order to provide substitute foods for patients with food allergies who practice food restriction.
doi:10.4162/nrp.2013.7.6.488
PMCID: PMC3865272  PMID: 24353835
Food allergy; atopic dermatitis; food restriction
12.  Active or Passive Exposure to Tobacco Smoking and Allergic Rhinitis, Allergic Dermatitis, and Food Allergy in Adults and Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(3):e1001611.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Bahi Takkouche and colleagues examine the associations between exposure to tobacco smoke and allergic disorders in children and adults.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Allergic rhinitis, allergic dermatitis, and food allergy are extremely common diseases, especially among children, and are frequently associated to each other and to asthma. Smoking is a potential risk factor for these conditions, but so far, results from individual studies have been conflicting. The objective of this study was to examine the evidence for an association between active smoking (AS) or passive exposure to secondhand smoke and allergic conditions.
Methods and Findings
We retrieved studies published in any language up to June 30th, 2013 by systematically searching Medline, Embase, the five regional bibliographic databases of the World Health Organization, and ISI-Proceedings databases, by manually examining the references of the original articles and reviews retrieved, and by establishing personal contact with clinical researchers. We included cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies reporting odds ratio (OR) or relative risk (RR) estimates and confidence intervals of smoking and allergic conditions, first among the general population and then among children.
We retrieved 97 studies on allergic rhinitis, 91 on allergic dermatitis, and eight on food allergy published in 139 different articles. When all studies were analyzed together (showing random effects model results and pooled ORs expressed as RR), allergic rhinitis was not associated with active smoking (pooled RR, 1.02 [95% CI 0.92–1.15]), but was associated with passive smoking (pooled RR 1.10 [95% CI 1.06–1.15]). Allergic dermatitis was associated with both active (pooled RR, 1.21 [95% CI 1.14–1.29]) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.07 [95% CI 1.03–1.12]). In children and adolescent, allergic rhinitis was associated with active (pooled RR, 1.40 (95% CI 1.24–1.59) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.09 [95% CI 1.04–1.14]). Allergic dermatitis was associated with active (pooled RR, 1.36 [95% CI 1.17–1.46]) and passive smoking (pooled RR, 1.06 [95% CI 1.01–1.11]). Food allergy was associated with SHS (1.43 [1.12–1.83]) when cohort studies only were examined, but not when all studies were combined.
The findings are limited by the potential for confounding and bias given that most of the individual studies used a cross-sectional design. Furthermore, the studies showed a high degree of heterogeneity and the exposure and outcome measures were assessed by self-report, which may increase the potential for misclassification.
Conclusions
We observed very modest associations between smoking and some allergic diseases among adults. Among children and adolescents, both active and passive exposure to SHS were associated with a modest increased risk for allergic diseases, and passive smoking was associated with an increased risk for food allergy. Additional studies with detailed measurement of exposure and better case definition are needed to further explore the role of smoking in allergic diseases.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The immune system protects the human body from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Whenever a pathogen enters the body, immune system cells called T lymphocytes recognize specific molecules on its surface and release chemical messengers that recruit and activate other types of immune cells, which then attack the pathogen. Sometimes, however, the immune system responds to harmless materials (for example, pollen; scientists call these materials allergens) and triggers an allergic disease such as allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the inside of the nose; hay fever is a type of allergic rhinitis), allergic dermatitis (also known as eczema, a disease characterized by dry, itchy patches on the skin), and food allergy. Recent studies suggest that all these allergic (atopic) diseases are part of a continuous state called the “atopic march” in which individuals develop allergic diseases in a specific sequence that starts with allergic dermatitis during infancy, and progresses to food allergy, allergic rhinitis, and finally asthma (inflammation of the airways).
Why Was This Study Done?
Allergic diseases are extremely common, particularly in children. Allergic rhinitis alone affects 10%–30% of the world's population and up to 40% of children in some countries. Moreover, allergic diseases are becoming increasingly common. Allergic diseases affect the quality of life of patients and are financially costly to both patients and health systems. It is important, therefore, to identify the factors that cause or potentiate their development. One potential risk factor for allergic diseases is active or passive exposure to tobacco smoke. In some countries up to 80% of children are exposed to second-hand smoke so, from a public health point of view, it would be useful to know whether exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with the development of allergic diseases. Here, the researchers undertake a systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic) and a meta-analysis (a statistical approach for combining the results of several studies) to investigate this issue.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 196 observational studies (investigations that observe outcomes in populations without trying to affect these outcomes in any way) that examined the association between smoke exposure and allergic rhinitis, allergic dermatitis, or food allergy. When all studies were analyzed together, allergic rhinitis was not associated with active smoking but was slightly associated with exposure to second-hand smoke. Specifically, compared to people not exposed to second-hand smoke, the pooled relative risk (RR) of allergic rhinitis among people exposed to second-hand smoke was 1.10 (an RR of greater than 1 indicates an increased risk of disease development in an exposed population compared to an unexposed population). Allergic dermatitis was associated with both active smoking (RR = 1.21) and exposure to second-hand smoke (RR = 1.07). In the populations of children and adolescents included in the studies, allergic rhinitis was associated with both active smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke (RRs of 1.40 and 1.09, respectively), as was allergic dermatitis (RRs of 1.36 and 1.06, respectively). Finally food allergy was associated with exposure to second-hand smoke (RR = 1.43) when cohort studies (a specific type of observational study) only were examined but not when all the studies were combined.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide limited evidence for a weak association between smoke exposure and allergic disease in adults but suggest that both active and passive smoking are associated with a modestly increased risk of allergic diseases in children and adolescents. The accuracy of these findings may be affected by the use of questionnaires to assess smoke exposure and allergic disease development in most of the studies in the meta-analysis and by the possibility that individuals exposed to smoke may have shared other characteristics that were actually responsible for their increased risk of allergic diseases. To shed more light on the role of smoking in allergic diseases, additional studies are needed that accurately measure exposure and outcomes. However, the present findings suggest that, in countries where many people smoke, 14% and 13% of allergic rhinitis and allergic dermatitis, respectively, among children may be attributable to active smoking. Thus, the elimination of active smoking among children and adolescents could prevent one in seven cases of allergic rhinitis and one in eight cases of allergic dermatitis in such countries.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001611.
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about allergic rhinitis, hay fever (including personal stories), allergic dermatitis (including personal stories), and food allergy (including personal stories)
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease provides information about allergic diseases
The UK not-for-profit organization Allergy UK provides information about all aspects of allergic diseases and a description of the atopic march
MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on allergic rhinitis and allergic dermatitis (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources about allergies, eczema, and food allergy (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001611
PMCID: PMC3949681  PMID: 24618794
13.  Middle East Consensus Statement on the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Cow's Milk Protein Allergy 
Presented are guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) which is the most common food allergy in infants. It manifests through a variety of symptoms that place a burden on both the infant and their caregivers. The guidelines were formulated by evaluation of existing evidence-based guidelines, literature evidence and expert clinical experience. The guidelines set out practical recommendations and include algorithms for the prevention and treatment of CMPA. For infants at risk of allergy, appropriate prevention diets are suggested. Breastfeeding is the best method for prevention; however, a partially hydrolyzed formula should be used in infants unable to be breastfed. In infants with suspected CMPA, guidelines are presented for the appropriate diagnostic workup and subsequent appropriate elimination diet for treatment. Exclusive breastfeeding and maternal dietary allergen avoidance are the best treatment. In infants not exclusively breastfed, an extensively hydrolyzed formula should be used with amino acid formula recommended if the symptoms are life-threatening or do not resolve after extensively hydrolyzed formula. Adherence to these guidelines should assist healthcare practitioners in optimizing their approach to the management of CMPA and decrease the burden on infants and their caregivers.
doi:10.5223/pghn.2014.17.2.61
PMCID: PMC4107222  PMID: 25061580
Allergy and immunology; Breast feeding; Hypersensitivity; Infant formula; Milk hypersensitivity
14.  Frequently asked questions in allergy practice 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2014;4(1):48-53.
Background
Over the last 10-20 years, international guidelines and consensus statements for the management of common allergic diseases (e.g. allergic rhinitis and asthma) have been developed and disseminated worldwide. However, their impact on knowledge and standard of clinical practice among primary care physicians and specialists is unknown.
Objective
To investigate need for an improvement in the dissemination of international guidelines for the diagnosis and management of allergic rhinitis.
Methods
Seven medical students who attended 3-day 1st International Basic Allergy Course (2010) took down all questions raised during the entire course. A systemic analysis of these questions was performed to identify areas for improvement in diagnosis and management of allergic diseases mainly in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
Results
268 participants, 143 males and 125 females, comprising Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists (n = 106) and trainees (n = 34), general practitioners (n = 87), and other healthcare professionals (n = 41) attended the course. Of the 103 questions recorded, 59 were regarding treatment modalities in allergy practice such as immunotherapy (n = 38), pharmacologics (n = 15), nasal surgery (n = 2), and others (n = 4). 41 questions (39.8%) have answers based in the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma guidelines (2001 and 2008). Certain questions were selected for further analysis because they appeared to be (a) more commonly asked (e.g. immunotherapy) or (b) were deemed to be challenging or, even controversial (e.g. food allergy and differential diagnosis between vasovagal and anaphylaxis reaction), as the recommendations in current international guidelines were less well-defined.
Conclusion
Our study identified several problems that, if tackled, could help minimize confusion and provide better care for patients suffering from allergic diseases especially in the ASEAN region.
doi:10.5415/apallergy.2014.4.1.48
PMCID: PMC3921870  PMID: 24527411
Allergic diseases; International guidelines; Management; Immunotherapy; Vasovagal and anaphylaxis reaction; Food allergy
15.  Estimating the prevalence of aero-allergy and/or food allergy in infants, children and young people with moderate-to-severe atopic eczema/dermatitis in primary care: multi-centre, cross-sectional study 
Objective
We sought to determine the primary care-based prevalence of moderate-to-severe atopic eczema/dermatitis in children and to estimate what proportion had co-morbid aero-allergy and/or food allergy that was contributing to their atopic eczema/dermatitis.
Design
Multi-centre, cross-sectional study.
Participants
Infants, children and young people aged between 0–17 years.
Setting
Primary Care.
Methods
General practice electronic health records were interrogated to identify children (0–17 years) with current moderate-to-severe atopic eczema/dermatitis. Eligible children were assessed by an allergy specialist nurse, this involving a detailed allergy history, examination and, if appropriate, measurement of total IgE and specific IgE to relevant aero-allergens and/or food allergens.
Main outcome measures
Prevalence of atopic eczema, moderate to severe atopic eczema, IgE-mediated atopic eczema.
Results
We recruited eight practices, which together enrolled 16,877 children. Of these, 4331 (25.7%; 95% CI 25.0, 26.3) children had a recorded diagnosis of atopic eczema/dermatitis and 1316 (7.8%; 95% CI 7.4, 8.2) had treatment indicative of current moderate-to-severe atopic eczema/dermatitis. We recruited 159 children for clinical assessment, and complete data were available for 157. The clinical assessment revealed that 130/157 (82.8%) had no indication of IgE-mediated allergy contributing to their atopic eczema/dermatitis; the remaining 27/157 (17.2%; 95% CI 12.1, 23.9) were on clinical assessment considered to possibly have underlying IgE-mediated disease. Specific IgE tests were positive in 14/27 (51.9%; 95% CI 34.0, 69.3) children. Of the 14 children who tested positive, six (42.9%; 95% CI 21.4, 67.4) were positive to food allergens and six (42.9%; 95% CI 21.4, 67.4) to aero-allergens; the remaining two (14.3%; 95% CI 4.0, 40.0) were positive to both food and aero-allergens.
Conclusions
Although atopic eczema/dermatitis is a very common diagnosis in children in primary care, most appear to be relatively mild and/or transient. Only a small proportion of children had evidence of ongoing underlying IgE-mediated atopic eczema/dermatitis.
doi:10.1177/0141076814562982
PMCID: PMC4480555  PMID: 25567768
Atopy; children ; eczema; epidemiology; general practice
16.  Cow’s milk allergy: evidence-based diagnosis and management for the practitioner 
European Journal of Pediatrics  2014;174:141-150.
This review summarizes current evidence and recommendations regarding cow’s milk allergy (CMA), the most common food allergy in young children, for the primary and secondary care providers. The diagnostic approach includes performing a medical history, physical examination, diagnostic elimination diets, skin prick tests, specific IgE measurements, and oral food challenges. Strict avoidance of the offending allergen is the only therapeutic option. Oral immunotherapy is being studied, but it is not yet recommended for routine clinical practice. For primary prevention of allergy, exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4 months and up to 6 months is desirable. Infants with a documented hereditary risk of allergy (i.e., an affected parent and/or sibling) who cannot be breastfed exclusively should receive a formula with confirmed reduced allergenicity, i.e., a partially or extensively hydrolyzed formula, as a means of preventing allergic reactions, primarily atopic dermatitis. Avoidance or delayed introduction of solid foods beyond 4–6 months for allergy prevention is not recommended.
Conclusion: For all of those involved in taking care of children’s health, it is important to understand the multifaceted aspects of CMA, such as its epidemiology, presentation, diagnosis, and dietary management, as well as its primary prevention.
doi:10.1007/s00431-014-2422-3
PMCID: PMC4298661  PMID: 25257836
Allergy; Children; Infants; Pediatrics
17.  The diagnosis of food allergy: protocol for a systematic review 
Background
The literature on diagnostic tests for food allergy currently lacks clear consensus regarding the accuracy and safety of different investigative approaches. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology is in the process of developing its Guideline for Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis, and this systematic review is one of seven inter-linked evidence syntheses that are being undertaken in order to provide a state-of-the-art synopsis of the current evidence base in relation to epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis and clinical management, and impact on quality of life, which will be used to inform the formulation of clinical recommendations. The aim of this systematic review will be to assess the diagnostic accuracy of tests aimed at supporting the clinical diagnosis of IgE-mediated food allergy.
Methods
The following databases from inception to September 30, 2012 will be searched for studies of diagnostic tests: Cochrane Library (Wiley&Sons); MEDLINE (OVID); Embase (OVID); CINAHL (Ebscohost); ISI Web of Science (Thomson Web of Knowledge); TRIP Database (web http://www.tripdatabase.com); and Clinicaltrials.gov (NIH web). These database searches will be supplemented by contacting an international panel of experts. Studies evaluating APT, SPT, specific-IgE, and component specific-IgE in participants of any age with suspected food allergy will be included. The reference standard will be DBPCFC in at least 50% of the participants. Studies will be quality assessed by using the QUADAS-2 instrument. We will report summary statistics such as sensitivity, specificity, and/or likelihood ratios. We will use the hierarchical summary ROC (HSROC) model to summarize the accuracy of each test and to compare the accuracy of two or more tests.
Discussion
Decisions on which tests to use need to be guided by availability of tests, populations being cared for, risks, financial considerations and test properties. This review will examine papers from around the world, covering children and adults with suspected food allergy in varying populations and concentrated on four type of tests: APT, SPT, specific-IgEs, and component specific-IgEs.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-3-18
PMCID: PMC3679851  PMID: 23742215
Food allergy; IgE-mediated; Diagnosis; Diagnostic tests
18.  A survey on clinical presentation and nutritional status of infants with suspected cow' milk allergy 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:25.
Background
Cow's milk is the most common food allergen in infants and the diagnosis of cow's milk allergy is difficult, even with the use of several diagnostic tests. Therefore, elimination diets and challenge tests are essential for the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. The aim of this study is to report the clinical presentation and nutritional status of children evaluated by pediatric gastroenterologists for the assessment of symptoms suggestive of cow's milk allergy.
Methods
An observational cross-sectional study was performed among 9,478 patients evaluated by 30 pediatric gastroenterologists for 40 days in 5 different geographical regions in Brazil. Clinical data were collected from patients with symptoms suggestive of cow's milk allergy. The nutritional status of infants (age ≤ 24 months) seen for the first time was evaluated according to z-scores for weight-for-age, weight-for-height, and height-for-age. Epi-Info (CDC-NCHS, 2000) software was used to calculate z-scores.
Results
The prevalence of suspected cow's milk allergy in the study population was 5.4% (513/9,478), and the incidence was 2.2% (211/9,478). Among 159 infants seen at first evaluation, 15.1% presented with a low weight-for-age z score (< -2.0 standard deviation - SD), 8.7% with a low weight-for-height z score (< -2.0 SD), and 23.9% with a low height-for-age z score (< -2.0 SD).
Conclusion
The high prevalence of nutritional deficits among infants with symptoms suggestive of cow's milk allergy indicates that effective elimination diets should be prescribed to control allergy symptoms and to prevent or treat malnutrition.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-25
PMCID: PMC2873518  PMID: 20416046
19.  Guidelines for the use of allergen immunotherapy. Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 
OBJECTIVES: To recommend guidelines for the use of allergen immunotherapy to treat allergies in patients for whom allergen avoidance and drug therapy have not been sufficiently effective. OPTIONS: High-dose or low-dose allergen immunotherapy for the treatment of IgE-mediated allergy to insect stings, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma. OUTCOMES: Clinical evaluation of symptoms, objective measurement of reactions to nasal or bronchial allergen challenge, immunologic changes as a result of allergen immunotherapy and, among patients with anaphylactic reactions to stinging insects, clinical outcome of intentional sting challenge. EVIDENCE: A search of MEDLINE was conducted to identify articles that presented results of allergen immunotherapy. Proceedings of symposia held by international subcommittees and of consensus meetings, as well as references obtained from these sources, were reviewed. The articles were grouped according to their main subject: immunologic effects, specific allergies, the results of randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials, types of allergen extract and protocols for allergen immunotherapy, adverse effects and deficiencies of allergen immunotherapy. VALUES: Each member of the working group assessed the importance of such issues as basic immunologic effects, clinical efficacy, adverse effects and inappropriate use; the working group then arrived at a consensus. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: Implementation of these guidelines would lead to the appropriate use of allergen immunotherapy and control inappropriate treatment, which could result in adverse effects and increased costs of services for patients with allergies. RECOMMENDATIONS: Allergen immunotherapy with specific, standardized allergenic materials, administered in high-dose schedules, is effective in patients with an allergy to insect stings or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and in some patients with asthma, who have been correctly diagnosed through a meticulous history corroborated by positive results of skin tests and for whom avoidance of the allergen and drug therapy are not sufficiently effective. VALIDATION: These guidelines are similar to others being developed in the United States and recommended by the Joint Council of Allergy and Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. SPONSOR: These guidelines were developed by a working group of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; no funding was received from any other source.
PMCID: PMC1337905  PMID: 7728690
20.  Food allergy knowledge, perception of food allergy labeling, and level of dietary practice: A comparison between children with and without food allergy experience 
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES
The prevalence of food allergies in Korean children aged 6 to 12 years increased from 10.9% in 1995 to 12.6% in 2012 according to nationwide population studies. Treatment for food allergies is avoidance of allergenic-related foods and epinephrine auto-injector (EPI) for accidental allergic reactions. This study compared knowledge and perception of food allergy labeling and dietary practices of students.
SUBJECTS/METHODS
The study was conducted with the fourth to sixth grade students from an elementary school in Yongin. A total of 437 response rate (95%) questionnaires were collected and statistically analyzed.
RESULTS
The prevalence of food allergy among respondents was 19.7%, and the most common food allergy-related symptoms were urticaria, followed by itching, vomiting and nausea. Food allergens, other than 12 statutory food allergens, included cheese, cucumber, kiwi, melon, clam, green tea, walnut, grape, apricot and pineapple. Children with and without food allergy experience had a similar level of knowledge on food allergies. Children with food allergy experience thought that food allergy-related labeling on school menus was not clear or informative.
CONCLUSION
To understand food allergies and prevent allergic reactions to school foodservice among children, schools must provide more concrete and customized food allergy education.
doi:10.4162/nrp.2015.9.1.92
PMCID: PMC4317486  PMID: 25671074
Elementary students; food allergy; labeling; dietary practice
21.  Health-related quality of life, assessed with a disease-specific questionnaire, in Swedish adults suffering from well-diagnosed food allergy to staple foods 
Background
Our aim was to investigate the factors that affect health related quality of life (HRQL) in adult Swedish food allergic patients objectively diagnosed with allergy to at least one of the staple foods cow’s milk, hen’s egg or wheat. The number of foods involved, the type and severity of symptoms, as well as concomitant allergic disorders were assessed.
Methods
The disease-specific food allergy quality of life questionnaire (FAQLQ-AF), developed within EuroPrevall, was utilized. The questionnaire had four domains: Allergen Avoidance and Dietary Restrictions (AADR), Emotional Impact (EI), Risk of Accidental Exposure (RAE) and Food Allergy related Health (FAH). Comparisons were made with the outcome of the generic questionnaire EuroQol Health Questionnaire, 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D). The patients were recruited at an outpatient allergy clinic, based on a convincing history of food allergy supplemented by analysis of specific IgE to the foods in question. Seventy-nine patients participated (28 males, 51 females, mean-age 41 years).
Results
The domain with the most negative impact on HRQL was AADR, assessing the patients’ experience of dietary restrictions. The domain with the least negative impact on HRQL was FAH, relating to health concerns due to the food allergy. One third of the patients had four concomitant allergic disorders, which had a negative impact on HRQL. Furthermore, asthma in combination with food allergy had a strong impact. Anaphylaxis, and particularly prescription of an epinephrine auto-injector, was associated with low HRQL. These effects were not seen using EQ-5D. Analyses of the symptoms revealed that oral allergy syndrome and cardiovascular symptoms had the greatest impact on HRQL. In contrast, no significant effect on HRQL was seen by the number of food allergies.
Conclusions
The FAQLQ-AF is a valid instrument, and more accurate among patients with allergy to staple foods in comparison to the commonly used generic EQ-5D. It adds important information on HRQL in food allergic adults. We found that the restrictions imposed on the patients due to the diet had the largest negative impact on HRQL. Both severity of the food allergy and the presence of concomitant allergic disorders had a profound impact on HRQL.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-3-21
PMCID: PMC3702411  PMID: 23816063
Food allergy; Adults; Health-related quality of life; Instrument; Questionnaire
22.  Food allergy in gastroenterologic diseases: Review of literature 
Food allergy is a common and increasing problem worldwide. The newly-found knowledge might provide novel experimental strategies, especially for laboratory diagnosis. Approximately 20% of the population alters their diet for a perceived adverse reaction to food, but the application of double-blind placebo-controlled oral food challenge, the “gold standard” for diagnosis of food allergy, shows that questionnaire-based studies overestimate the prevalence of food allergies. The clinical disorders determined by adverse reactions to food can be classified on the basis of immunologic or nonimmunologic mechanisms and the organ system or systems affected. Diagnosis of food allergy is based on clinical history, skin prick tests, and laboratory tests to detect serum-food specific IgE, elimination diets and challenges. The primary therapy for food allergy is to avoid the responsible food. Antihistamines might partially relieve oral allergy syndrome and IgE-mediated skin symptoms, but they do not block systemic reactions. Systemic corticosteroids are generally effective in treating chronic IgE-mediated disorders. Epinephrine is the mainstay of treatment for anaphylaxis. Experimental therapies for IgE-mediated food allergy have been evaluated, such as humanized IgG anti-IgE antibodies and allergen specific immunotherapy.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v12.i48.7744
PMCID: PMC4087536  PMID: 17203514
Food intolerance; Food allergy; Skin prick test; Serum food-specific IgE; Oral food challenges
23.  Patients’ Experience of a Regional Allergy Service 
Background
The principle reason for referral to specialist allergy clinics is to establish diagnoses and provide treatment plans to help patients manage their allergy. If patients do not accept, understand, or remember diagnoses or treatment, clinic visits may have been a waste of time. Few specialist allergy clinics follow up patients after diagnosis.
Design and Methods
This was a postal survey to assess patients’ i) perception of usefulness of specialist allergy clinic visits, ii) understanding of their allergy, iii) confidence in managing it, and iv) response to joining a regional online forum. Data for patients with confirmed allergy who attended the Peninsula Allergy Service (PAS) from 1998-2009 were extracted from consultant letters to general practitioners. Postal questionnaires were sent to 933 patients; 39% (336) responded.
Results
Two-thirds (63%) thought their clinic visit useful and resulted in them being more in control of their allergy; 9% thought it useful but they still had problems, 26% thought it had not been much use. One in six (16%, 55) respondents had major differences in their view of their allergy compared to that recorded by PAS. Over half (56%) had had further symptoms since their clinic visit and 120 patients, who were not confident in coping with their allergy, listed aspects of their lives that gave concern.
Conclusions
Specialist clinics need routine feedback from patients if they are to monitor their effectiveness and some better form of follow up for patients is needed to reinforce education and support patients. Public education is important.
Significance for public healthAlthough there is a great deal of information available about allergy on the Internet, in the media and via word of mouth from family and friends, unfortunately a fair proportion of this is misleading, inaccurate and even potentially dangerous. The main role of a specialist allergy service is the diagnosis and management of allergies and patient education during the consultation. This audit of patients diagnosed with type 1 allergy showed that a small but significant proportion may not have understood or accepted their diagnosis, others may not be confident in coping with their allergy, and over half had further symptoms after discharge from the clinic. The effectiveness of specialist allergy services will be diminished if there is no longer-term follow-up of patients. Public health education is also important so that patient expectations about the role of allergy services are realistic.
doi:10.4081/jphr.2013.e13
PMCID: PMC4147736  PMID: 25170484
allergy; patient knowledge; public education
24.  Diet and Dermatitis: Food Triggers 
Given increasing awareness of the link between diet and health, many patients are concerned that dietary factors may trigger dermatitis. Research has found that dietary factors can indeed exacerbate atopic dermatitis or cause dermatitis due to systemic contact dermatitis. In atopic dermatitis, dietary factors are more likely to cause an exacerbation among infants or children with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis relative to other populations. Foods may trigger rapid, immunoglobulin E-mediated hypersensitivity reactions or may lead to late eczematous reactions. While immediate reactions occur within minutes to hours of food exposure, late eczematous reactions may occur anywhere from hours to two days later. Screening methods, such as food allergen-specific serum immunoglobulin E tests or skin prick tests, can identify sensitization to specific foods, but a diagnosis of food allergy requires specific signs and symptoms that occur reproducibly upon food exposure. Many patients who are sensitized will not develop clinical findings upon food exposure; therefore, these tests may result in false-positive tests for food allergy. This is why the gold standard for diagnosis remains the double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge. In another condition, systemic contact dermatitis, ingestion of a specific food can actually cause dermatitis. Systemic contact dermatitis is a distinct T-cell mediated immunological reaction in which dietary exposure to specific allergens results in dermatitis. Balsam of Peru and nickel are well-known causes of systemic contact dermatitis, and reports have implicated multiple other allergens. This review seeks to increase awareness of important food allergens, elucidate their relationship with atopic dermatitis and systemic contact dermatitis, and review available diagnostic and treatment strategies.
PMCID: PMC3970830  PMID: 24688624
25.  The development and implementation of a training package for dietitians on cow’s milk protein allergy in infants and children based on UK RCPCH competencies for food allergies – a pilot study 
Background
Many food allergy guidelines have been published worldwide over recent years. The United Kingdom National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines and The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health food allergy care pathways require dietitians to assist with the diagnosis and management of food allergies, which highlighted the need for further education of dietitians to meet these competencies. The aim of this study was to design a competence based one day education course for dietitians on the diagnosis and management of cow’s milk protein allergy in infants and children.
Methods
A one day training course was developed. Dietitians’ knowledge was assessed via multiple choice questions before and on the day of the course and retention of knowledge was assessed one month after the course. Pre course reading was given once the first assessment was completed.
Results
Thirty seven dietitians attended the course and 32 completed all three assessments. A significant improvement in assessment scores was seen between the pre course and on the day assessments of 7.2% (p < 0.001) and between pre course and post course assessments of 8.9% (p < 0.001). In delegates who rated their perceived level of knowledge as high, a significant increase was seen between pre course and on the day and between pre course and post course (both p < 0.001). Actual increase in knowledge was seen alongside a significant increase in high rating of perceived level of confidence between pre course and on the day and between pre course and post course (both p < 0.001).
Conclusions
Educating dietitians using the format of one day teaching with pre and post course assessment has improved both knowledge and competencies in the diagnosis and management of cow’s milk protein allergy. Further courses in other areas of food allergy could be developed using this approach within the UK and worldwide.
doi:10.1186/s13601-015-0046-y
PMCID: PMC4320553  PMID: 25664167
Competencies; Cow’s milk protein allergy; Dietitian; Training

Results 1-25 (1079324)