American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Nov. 10-14

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The 2016 Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

The annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology was held from Nov. 10 to 14 in San Francisco and attracted approximately 3,500 participants from around the world, including allergy and immunology specialists as well as other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of asthma, food and medication allergies, immune dysfunction, and sleep apnea.

In one study, Deepa Patadia, M.D., of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, and colleagues found that less than half of all children in a large primary care population received the influenza vaccine each year over a five-year period. The investigators found that rates were higher among children with asthma but, at only 55 percent, still below target goals.

"The key findings of our study are that overall influenza vaccination rates among children are much lower than the Healthy People 2020 target rate of 70 percent," Patadia said. "The key conclusion is that up to half of the children in our study population remained unvaccinated against influenza, leaving them at risk for severe outcomes from influenza infection. Children with asthma are particularly at risk from complications due to influenza infection, making prevention through vaccination very important."

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In another study, DeVon C. Preston, M.D., of the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, and colleagues found that living in an urban area where it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food (known as a "food desert") increases the risk of asthma.

"The key conclusion for us is that after controlling for obesity and allergic rhinitis, the food desert itself is supplying some selective pressure on the prevalence of asthma. So, our thought is that food itself is likely providing some impact on the prevalence of asthma. We are unsure what that may be at this point but some thoughts surround microbiomes and the difference between fast food/convenience store foods (being mainly sterile) versus whole fresh foods like fruits and vegetables that have other organisms within them and on them," Preston said. "I think it will be important for practitioners to stress healthy diets for their asthma patients, and patients in general. The earlier in life, the better. Studies are starting to look at the relationship between microbiomes and allergic disease, so if we can start intervening earlier, then maybe we can impact the development of asthma and allergic disease."

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Angela Tsuang, M.D., of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, and colleagues found that increasing and standardizing the training of non-nursing school staff on anaphylaxis would elevate their confidence levels and improve school preparedness for food-related allergic reactions.

"The key results of our study showed that non-nursing school staff members did not feel confident in their ability to recognize or treat anaphylaxis, and the training they received on anaphylaxis was variable. However, 87 percent of staff members correctly identified the sequence of actions to take if a child is experiencing anaphylaxis, and 72 percent of questions from a knowledge-based questionnaire on anaphylaxis were answered correctly," Tsuang said. "Parents of school-aged children with food allergies should be encouraged to talk to their schools to determine what steps have been taken to prepare for allergic reactions."

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ACAAI: Many Colleges Lack Food Allergy Support

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most colleges don't have comprehensive programs to support students with food allergies, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), held from Nov. 10 to 14 in San Francisco.

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ACAAI: Guidance Coming on Introducing Infants to Peanuts

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For parents who are unsure when and how to introduce their babies to food containing peanuts, presentations at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), held from Nov. 10 to 14 in San Francisco, will offer guidance based on soon-to-be-released guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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ACAAI: Many Clinicians Lack Understanding of PCN Tolerance

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There is poor understanding of penicillin tolerance, and allergist consultation is underused, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 10 to 14 in San Francisco.

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