Asthma, Allergy Link Has New Claws

Craig Stoltz Health Guide
  • Anyone who battles asthma knows there is a relationship between asthma and allergies. A new, big government study exploring the link between asthma and allergies confirms how close the links are--especially regarding cat allergies.


    Bottom line first


    According to a report published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, over half of asthma cases are attributable to allergies. Thirty percent of these people with asthma are allergic to cats. The links were stronger for men, the well educated, and people living in large metropolitan areas.


    This study in 50 words or less


    Researchers compared data from over 10,000 people skin-tested for 10 allergens to physician diagnoses of asthma. Half of people with asthma were allergic to at least one allergen. Thirty percent were allergic to cats, over 20 percent to white oak and Alternaria (a ubiquitous type of fungus).

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    Yes, but. . .


    Few caveats here: The study was done by NIH researchers using hard data from a big national study.


    So what are you going to do about it?


    If you have not done so, you may wish to consult with your asthma specialist about how to identify your alleriges and control exposure to them.


    The researchers suggest it may be possible to prevent or reduce asthma attacks significantly by controlling allergies.


    If you think I'm going to write the words "get rid of your cats if you have asthma," you underestimate my respect for, and fear of, cat-lovers.


    Learn more


    Drop a comment or question of our newest asthma expert, Sloane Miller, a psychotherapist, author, blogger extraordinaire and woman who has both asthma and allergies.


    Read this good backgrounder on asthma causes, which includes information on allergy/asthma links.  

Published On: September 28, 2007