Untreated Rhinitis May Lead to Asthma in Elderly Patients
Untreated allergic rhinitis has been found to precede asthma in elderly patients, according to a recent study from Italian researchers. They saw a higher predisposition to poorly controlled asthma in patients who were sensitive to allergens in the air and those exposed to dust mites who had not received allergy treatment.
Asthma Ups the Risk for Shingles
People who suffer from asthma may be facing an additional foe — investigators from the Mayo Clinic find they are also more likely to develop shingles when they get older. The researchers believe asthma may lead to immune system dysfunction, which in turn causes the increased shingles risk. They recommend all people with asthma receive the shingles vaccine.
Prenatal Exposure to Asthma Drugs May Raise Risk for Autism
A study from U.S. researchers published in Pediatrics finds a slightly higher risk of developing autism among children whose mothers took asthma drugs known as beta-agonists when they were pregnant. But the authors stop short of recommending women discontinue these drugs during pregnancy, noting uncontrolled asthma itself has been associated with poor birth outcomes ranging from preterm birth to low birth weight to admission to the NICU — and some of these outcomes have also been linked to a higher risk for autism.
Explaining Food Allergies
Why do some kids develop food allergies while others don’t? Australian researchers who studied blood taken from the umbilical cords of more than 1,000 newborns found children who went on to develop food allergies had more monocytes, cells known to promote a hyperactive immune response, and that these cells were overactive, meaning they responded to potential threats more aggressively than normal monocytes.