A new study suggests food allergies are more common among people with asthma, and food allergies may actually contribute to asthma attacks.
Dr. Andrew Liu, a professor at the National Jewish Health in Denver, CO, and his colleagues also said that food allergies are more common among children, males and non-Hispanic blacks.
Liu and his team analyzed data from 8,203 people aged 1 to older than 60, who completed a survey in 2005 to 2006. The participants’ blood was tested for antibodies to four specific foods – peanuts, milk, eggs and shrimp.
The researchers said food allergies were twice as common among participants who have ever received an asthma diagnosis as with those who never were diagnosed with the condition.
The odds of having food allergies went up with the severity of the asthma, the researchers said. Participants who had asthma at the time of the study were almost four times as likely to have food allergies as those who had previously been diagnosed with the disease, but who no longer had it.
Participants who had visited an emergency room for asthma in the past year were almost seven times as likely to have food allergies as those who had been diagnosed, but who had not gone to the ER.
The researchers said they never concluded that food allergies actually caused asthma, or if asthma and food allergies were part of a “severe allergic profile.