Despite climate change, children with asthma in Los Angeles have had no increase in allergy diagnoses



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Studies have shown that climate change was partly responsible for longer growing seasons and higher pollen loads, leading to speculation of increased sensitizations to environmental allergens. A new study presented this year at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting followed 5,874 children with asthma in Los Angeles for 15 years and found no increase in allergic sensitizations. When your immune system becomes sensitized to an allergen (an otherwise harmless substance), you will likely develop allergy symptoms whenever you are exposed to that same allergen.

“We were somewhat surprised with the results as we expected an increase in the number of children with asthma sensitized to pollen and other allergens,” said Kenny Kwong MD, principal investigator of the study. “Between 80% and 90% of children with asthma have allergy triggers, which is why it is important that children with asthma get an allergy test. Allergy triggers can cause asthma flare-ups in children.

A total of 123,209 tests were performed on more than 5,000 patients. All patients underwent skin tests for dust mites, cats, dogs, cockroaches, tree pollens, grasses and weeds. In addition, all patients had been diagnosed with asthma and allergic rhinitis by an asthma specialist using history, physical examination, and spirometry when age was appropriate.

“Although temperatures have risen and pollen loads are increasing, if someone is not genetically predisposed to allergies, they are unlikely to be sensitized to more allergens,” said allergist Lyne Scott , MD, ACAAI member and study co-author. “The growing season is year round in Los Angeles and people with allergies who are already sensitized to pollen suffer most intensely when the growing season is longer or the air quality is poor. It is important to remember that awareness does not equate to severity, so people with allergies may experience more severe symptoms. “

A high pollen count does not necessarily mean that those affected will be affected. There are many types of pollen, coming from various types of trees, grass, and a variety of weeds. As a result, a high overall pollen count does not always indicate a high concentration of the specific pollen to which individuals are allergic.

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More information:
Abstract title: No increase in sensitization to inhaled allergens in children with asthma in Los Angeles over 15 years of age.

Provided by
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Despite climate change, children with asthma in Los Angeles have had no increase in allergy diagnoses (2021, November 5)
retrieved on November 5, 2021

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