It's time for year-end countdowns and reflections on the last year. In the allergies and asthma community, there was plenty going on. Here's what grabbed my attention over 2008:
1. Meredith Broussard's story in Harper's about food allergies back in January 2008 prompted angry responses around the food allergy blogosphere. We interviewed pediatric allergist Dr. Mike Pistiner in response to the Harper's article.
2. A piece by Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis of Harvard University in the British Medical Journal suggests that parents of nut allergic children are falling prey to mass panic.
3. The popcorn and butter story wouldn't go away. Diacetyl, a compound commonly found in microwave popcorn and other foods to give them a buttery flavor and aroma, was implicated in the occurrence of "popcorn workers' lung" a serious lung condition that can be fatal. Even though it was reported on in 2007, Oprah talked about it in her magazine in March 2008.
4. Some scientists are trying to make a genetically modified peanut that, supposedly, won't trigger peanut allergies. Who exactly is going to be eating this peanut?
5. Summer camps for kids with asthma are popping up and other camps are making it easier on campers with dietary restrictions such as for food allergies and food sensitivities.
6. We hear that puppies may help prevent children from developing allergies but also learn that there's really no such thing a hypoallergenic puppies. Sorry Malia and Sasha Obama!
7. New epinephrine auto-injector devices are being created by twin brothers, both with significant food allergies.
8. The FDA's investigation of a possible link between the allergy drug Singulair and suicide caused quite a commotion among people taking the drug. But doctors groups said that the drug was safe for most people.
9. We learned that an entire town in German is allergy-free!
10. The first federal study on food allergies confirmed that children's food allergies are on the rise.
Did I miss any? What grabbed your attention this year?
Published On: December 18, 2008