FARE’s Fall edition of Food Allergy News contained a research update on four new food allergy studies, two of which received funding from FARE. Excerpts about the findings of each study are below; click the links to read the full text in our e-newsletter.
Awareness May Be Stabilizing Emergency Department Visits
In 2011, researchers reported that food allergies were responsible for a significantly higher number of emergency department (ED) visits than previously thought. That FARE-funded study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that food allergies caused 224,000 visits to the ED each year. The prevalence of food allergy continues to rise and one might expect that this growing number of people with food allergy would increase the number of ED visits caused by food allergy. However, a new study conducted by the same research team, also with funding from FARE, suggests that ED visits are not keeping pace with population increases in food allergy. The data suggest that greater awareness and education are having a favorable effect on the number of ED visits caused by food allergy.
Impact of Food Allergy on Inner-City Children with Asthma
Food allergies and asthma often go hand-in-hand, but researchers do not fully understand the relationship between the two diseases. A research team led by Dr. James L. Friedlander (Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School) surveyed 300 elementary school students with asthma who participated in the School Inner City Asthma Study (SICAS) from 2008 to 2011 to learn more about the connections between food allergy and asthma. Read more about the findings of the study, published online by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice in September 2013.
A new study out of Australia examines a large number of cases of anaphylaxis. This analysis also provides information about the many different inflammatory mediators—proteins and other substances released by the cells of the immune system—that play a role in potentially life-threatening reactions.
Vitamin D and Food Allergy
Babies who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to have a food allergy, according to a study of over 5,000 one-year-old infants conducted by Australian researchers. The study, published in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), provided the first direct evidence that an adequate vitamin D level may protect babies against food allergies.
The full research update was published in the Fall 2013 issue of FARE’s Food Allergy News. Read more of the newsletter here.