Monday, November 11, 2013

Number of asthmatics with cat allergies has doubled

It's estimated that 60 to 85 percent of people with asthma have at least one allergy, and it seems may of those people have one thing in common - cats.

A new study has revealed that the number of people with asthma that are also allergic to cats has more than doubled over an 18 year period.

“From 1976 to 1994, positive allergy skin tests in people with asthma have increased significantly,” said Leonard Bielory, MD, ACAAI fellow and study author. “Not only have we found the number of asthma sufferers allergic to cats has more than doubled, but those with asthma are also 32 percent more likely to be allergic to cats than those without asthma.”

The study also found those with asthma are more likely to be allergic to several environmental triggers  including ragweed, ryegrass and alternaria fungus.

“This study helps us better understand common trends in allergy and asthma, which can lead to improved diagnosis and treatment,” said allergist James Sublett, M.D., chair of the ACAAI Indoor Environment Committee. “While it is unknown exactly why there has been an increase in asthma and allergy sufferers, it is thought a number of environmental factors can be responsible.”

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