Have asthma? You likely have an allergy as well

Asthma is becoming an epidemic in the United States. The number of Americans diagnosed with asthma grows annually, with 26 million currently affected. And according to a new study, nearly two-thirds or more of all asthmatics also have an allergy, which can make this spring season particularly bothersome.

The study, which is published in the April issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of , and Immunology (ACAAI), found that an astonishing 75 percent of asthmatic adults aged 20- to 40-years-old, and 65 percent of asthmatic adults aged 55 years and older, have at least one allergy.

"Allergists have known the prevalence of allergies among asthmatic children is high at 60 to 80 percent, but it was thought allergies were not as common in asthmatic adults," said allergist Paula Busse, MD, lead study author. "These findings are important, and can help lead to proper diagnosis and treatment."

A total of 2,573 adults were studied in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). A panel of 19 allergens was used to detect allergy among .

While asthma is frequently associated with children, it is not uncommon among adults 60 years and older, affecting three to seven percent. This number is likely higher, however, because asthma is often underdiagnosed in older adults.

"Both asthma and allergies can strike at any age, and are serious diseases," said allergist Richard Weber, MD, ACAAI president. "Anyone who thinks they may be having symptoms of an allergy or asthma should see a board-certified allergist. Allergists are experts in diagnosing and treating both conditions."

According to the ACAAI, more than 50 million Americans have an allergy, a number which is also on the rise. Is the link between asthma and allergies a reason?

"It could be one of many creating this perfect storm for allergies," said Dr. Weber. "Other factors, such as the hygiene hypothesis, climate change and an increase in awareness and education can also be reasons for this growth."

Related Stories

Geographic factors can cause allergies, asthma

Feb 04, 2013

Those living near the equator may find themselves sneezing and wheezing more than usual. And the reason may not be due to increasing pollen counts. According to a new study released today, in the February issue of Annals of ...

The Internet becomes next Nostradamus for allergy season

Nov 09, 2012

While it's believed that Nostradamus' prophecies predicted many historical events, his digital successor, the Internet, may be foreseeing the height of allergy suffering. According to allergist Leonard Bielory, M.D., American ...

Low birth weight not associated with asthma risk

Jan 15, 2013

Asthma is a serious condition that affects more than 25.7 million Americans, and is responsible for nearly 4,000 deaths annually. While the cause of asthma remains unknown, a study released today in the January issue of Annals of ...

End your child's allergy suffering within three years

Oct 01, 2012

When children suffer from dust mite induced allergies and asthma, finding relief can seem impossible. While there isn't a complete cure for childhood respiratory allergies, researchers have found that long term control of ...

Food allergies? Pesticides in tap water might be to blame

Dec 03, 2012

Food allergies are on the rise, affecting 15 million Americans. And according to a new study published in the December issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of All ...

Recommended for you

Structured education program beneficial for anaphylaxis

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—A structured education intervention improves knowledge and emergency management for patients at risk for anaphylaxis and their caregivers, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in Allergy.

Every step you take: STING pathway key to tumor immunity

Nov 20, 2014

A recently discovered protein complex known as STING plays a crucial role in detecting the presence of tumor cells and promoting an aggressive anti-tumor response by the body's innate immune system, according to two separate ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.