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Asthma Patients Rarely Fail Oral Food Challenges

ORLANDO—A chart review of patients who undertook food challenges found that those with asthma had lower failure rates, according to Carrie M. Lee, RN, MSN, of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues. They presented this finding at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s 2012 Annual Meeting.

Noting that asthma patients may avoid oral food challenges for fear of reacting, the researchers compared the results of such challenges in patients with and without asthma. Their retrospective chart review included 105 patients with clinical food allergy, elevated serum specific IgE, or history of sensitization who underwent oral food challenges in 2011. Of the participants, 32 had physician-diagnosed asthma.

Reactions during oral food challenges occurred in 12.5% of asthma patients and 20.5% of patients without asthma. Reactions included irritability, pruritus, urticarial, emesis, and cough/wheeze among patients with asthma and food refusal, erythema, pruritus, emesis, urticarial, and cough/wheeze among patients without the condition.

These results indicate that food challenges should be encouraged among patients with asthma, although they “should always be performed under supervised medical care with use of an established protocol,” said senior author Monica Vasudev, MD.

—Jack Baney


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