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Atopic Diseases Associated with Fewer Brain Tumors

Meta-analysis finds fewer brain tumors in those with allergies including asthma and eczema

THURSDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- An inverse relationship between brain tumors and atopic diseases has been confirmed by a meta-analysis of studies conducted in seven countries, according to study findings published online Oct. 9 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Eleni Linos, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues conducted an electronic literature search that produced eight observational studies involving 3,450 patients diagnosed with glioma and 1,070 patients with meningioma. The studies were conducted in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States between 1977 and 2004.

Individuals with a history of any allergy had an approximately 40 percent lower risk of developing glioma than individuals with no such history. Those with a history of eczema or asthma had an approximately 30 percent lower risk of glioma than individuals with no history of atopic disease. No overall association was observed between allergy and meningioma.

"These results are consistent across many geographic settings, study designs and different atopic diseases, and may reflect a protective effect of the immunologic milieu associated with atopic allergy on tumor growth," the authors conclude.

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