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World Allergy Organization
WAO's mission: To be a global resource and advocate in the field of allergy, advancing excellence in clinical care through education, research and training as a world-wide alliance of allergy and clinical immunology societies.

Medical Journal Reviews

August 2014

1. Estimating the socio-economic costs of allergic diseases to the European Union.

Zuberbier T, Lötvall J, Simoens S, Subramanian SV, and Church MK. Economic burden of inadequate management of allergic diseases in the European Union: a GA2LEN review. Allergy 2014, published online ahead of print 1 August. (doi:10.1111/all.12470)

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Editor’s comment:  The authors explored the published literature and online statistical information from Eurostat and Eurofound to assess the costs of allergic disease to society. They found that for the EU, avoidable indirect costs per patient who were insufficiently treated for allergy range between €55 and €151 billion per annum, largely as a consequence of absenteeism and presenteeism. These indirect costs translate to €2405 per untreated patient per year and reinforce the importance of treatment of allergic illness.

2. Factors that contribute to an increased risk of osteoporosis/osteopenia in patients with asthma.

Aljubran SA, Whelan GJ, Glaum MC and Lockey RF. Osteoporosis in the at-risk asthmatic. Allergy 2014, published online before print 21 July. (doi:10.1111/all/12438)

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Editor’s comment: This comprehensive review discusses factors that contribute to an increased risk of osteoporosis/osteopenia in patients with asthma and provides evidence-based recommendations for diagnosis, prevention and its treatment.

3. Novel therapeutic agents and strategies for hereditary and acquired angioedema.

Bork K. An evidence based therapeutic approach to hereditary and acquired angioedema.  Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology 2014; 14(4): 354 – 362. (doi:10.1097/ACI.0000000000000082)


Editor’s comment: In light of the recent development of new medications to treat angioedema, the author reviewed these new strategies to provide an evidence based approach to preventing as well as treating acute attacks.

4. Examining deaths caused by anaphylaxis.

Xu YS, Kastner M, Harada L, Xu A, Salter J, and Waserman S. Anaphylaxis-related deaths in Ontario: a retrospective review of cases from 1986 to 2011. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2014; 10:38. 26 July 2014 (doi:10.1186/1710-1492-10-38)

Provisional Text, Open Access

Editor’s comment: In this article, the authors reviewed all causes of anaphylaxis-related deaths using data from the Ontario Coroner's database and found a decline in the frequency of food-related deaths but an increase in iatrogenic causes between 1986 and 2011. They also found that factors associated with fatal anaphylaxis included delayed epinephrine administration, asthma, allergy to peanut, food ingestion outside the home, and teenagers with food allergies.

5. Lung function in bronchial asthma: new perspectives.

Papa GFS, Pellegrino GM and Pellegrino R. Asthma and respiratory physiology: putting lung function into perspective. Respirology 2014, published online before print 24 July. (doi:10.1111/res.12355)

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Editor’s comment: To improve our knowledge regarding the pathogenesis of asthma, the authors explored the literature regarding the role of airway smooth muscle, specifically examining topographical/patchy ventilation, volume, and time domains of the lung.  They conclude that the airway smooth muscle likely plays an important role in asthma and that the use of the forced oscillation and multiple breath nitrogen washout may, alone or in combination,  help address questions unsolvable until now.