Saturday July 4, 2020


January 31

Food Allergies

In one of the the largest study ever to track childhood food allergies in the U.S., the results reflect that they may be more common and more dangerous than previously recognized. In a detailed study of families who were surveyed with at least one child younger than 18, there were 8% of children under age 18 who are allergic to at least one food. Overall about 38, 000 children surveyswere completed.

Previous studies, including a government survey published in 2009, had pegged that number at around 4%.

Allergies to peanuts were the most commonly reported, affecting 2% of kids. Milk and shellfish allergies ranked second and third. Tree nuts, egg, fin fish, strawberry, wheat, and soy rounded out the top nine food triggers.

January 25

Allergy and Asthma Comorbidities

Asthma is often associated with various comorbidities. The most frequently reported asthma comorbid conditions include rhinitis, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, obstructive sleep apnea, hormonal disorders and psychopathologies. These conditions may, first: share a common pathophysiological mechanism with asthma; second: influence asthma control, its phenotype and response to treatment; and third: be more prevalent in asthmatic patients but without obvious influence on this disease. For many of these, how they interact with asthma remains to be further documented, particularly for severe asthma. If considered relevant, they should, however, be treated appropriately. Further research is needed on the relationships between these conditions and asthma.

Asthma is a common airway inflammatory disorder characterized by variable airway obstruction and hyperresponsiveness. Asthma is of variable severity and is increasingly recognized as a condition presenting as various phenotypes. Asthma control is the main goal of therapy and is achieved when the disease results in minimal or no symptoms, normal sleep and activities, and optimal pulmonary function. Such control can be obtained with patient education, avoidance of environmental triggers, individualized pharmacotherapy and regular follow-up.

Numerous comorbidities can be associated with asthma and influence its clinical expression, although their specific influence remains to be characterized. They are, however, increasingly recognized as important factors to document in asthma patients as they may influence disease management and control.

Among the most frequently contributing comorbid conditions reported in asthmatic patients are rhinitis, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), hormonal disorders and psychopathologies, although other conditions, sometimes without an evident link with asthma, have been found to be highly prevalent in asthmatic patients. Indeed, analyses of large databases have shown an increased prevalence of a variety of conditions in asthmatic patients, which either influence or do not influence asthma outcomes. These large-scale analyses may, however, be biased due to contamination with, for example, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other conditions 

January 07

Personalized Medicine

The US Food and Drug Administration recommends that doctors genotype patients before prescribing more than 70 commonly-used medications for specific genetic biomarkers. These tests, the agency suggests, can help physicians identify those in which the drug is less efficacious, poorly metabolized, or dangerous. But medicine is still far from a day when drugs and treatment regimes are fitted precisely to a patient’s genomic profile.

According to a 2008 survey conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA) and Medco Research Institute, even though 98 percent of physicians agreed that the genetic profiles of their patients may influence drug therapy, only 10 percent believed they were adequately informed about how to test their patients for biomarkers that may predict the safety and/or efficacy of a particular drug.

October 23

2011 Flu Vaccine Season

Every year, the government takes a gamble on the strains of flu most likely to cause the greatest number of infections in the coming flu season, and commissions a vaccine based on those strains. The US Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday July 18, 2011 that this year’s lucky numbers will be the same as last year’s, since those strains are still some of the most widely circulating and most frequently associated with disease.

The viruses used are chosen by 136 influenza surveillance centers around the world, whose samples help determine the most prevalent circulating strains. This year’s chosen ones include the H1N1 flu strain responsible for the “swine flu” pandemic of 2009, as well as another type A virus, and one of the two prevalent B type strains.

Although the vaccine composition is the same, the CDC still recommends those who took it last year to get an additional shot, because the vaccine protection may not last as long as a year.

October 20

Contact Allergies and Cancer

People who get skin rashes when exposed to certain metals or chemicals may be less likely to develop some types of cancer, according to a recent publication in the British Medical Journal (July 11, 2011).

Earlier epidemiological studies comparing medical histories and allergies (usually self-reported) revealed a lower incidence of certain cancers in allergic people than in those without allergies.  The studies supported the hypothesis that an overactive immune system—which causes adverse reactions to dust, cats, and pollen—also provides better protection against cancer, killing cells with cancerous potential before they become problematic. 

Location: Springfield, NJ
Today's Date: July 04, 2020
Station Director: Leonard Bielory, M.D
June Pepe, L.P.N., Certified NAB Pollen Counter
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