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Berns SH, Halm EA, Sampson HA, Sicherer SH, Busse PJ, Wisnivesky JP. Food allergy as a risk factor for asthma morbidity in adults. J Asthma. 2007;44(5):377-81.
Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between food allergy and asthma morbidity in adults.
Methods: We interviewed a cohort of persistent asthmatics from an inner-city clinic. Allergies to food were assessed by patient report of convincing symptoms of acute allergic reactions. Outcome variables included health resource utilization and medication use.
Results: The prevalence of allergy to fish, peanut, tree-nut, shellfish, and seed allergies were 3%, 3%, 3%, 13%, and 1%. Patients with allergies to > 1 food had increased asthma hospitalizations, ED visits, and use of oral steroids (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). Specifically, allergy to fish was associated with a greater risk of health resource utilization and increased frequency of oral steroid use (p = 0.03 for all comparisons). Conclusions: Self-reported allergy to foods was associated with worse outcomes, suggesting that food allergy may be a risk factor for increased asthma morbidity in adults.