American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting, Nov. 3-9, 2005
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's annual meeting took place November 3-9 in Anaheim, Calif., and drew about 1,700 leading researchers from around the world. Topics ranged from basic research to better treatments for allergies and asthma.
"We had over 400 abstracts," said Todd Mahr, M.D., of Gunderson Lutheran Health Systems, LaCrosse, Wis., and chair of this year's ACAAI Abstract Review Committee.
Among the most significant developments, Mahr said, was the presentation of a new Childhood Asthma Control test for children ages 4-11 by Andrew Liu, M.D., of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colo. The test contains seven questions: four to be answered by children, three to be answered by their caregivers.
"It's based on a nationwide study that showed it to be valid, accurate and easy to administer," Mahr said. "Anybody can use it in primary care. Even patients at home can know whether their asthma is under control or not. Because it complements the test available for patients ages 12 and above, it definitely will become a component of standard practice."
A study by Dennis Ownby, M.D., of the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, and a colleague showed that weighing a CFC inhaler could predict the remaining amount of medication within 10 to 15 sprays and weighing an HFA inhaler could predict the remaining amount of medication within 40 to 50 sprays. "Because patients aren't going to weigh their canisters, this doesn't provide them with practical information," Mahr said. "It's a message to the pharmaceutical industry to try and bring out new inhalers out with dose counters built into them."
Hilary Spyers-Duran, FNP, of West Coast Clinical Trials, Long Beach, Calif., and a colleague presented evidence that English ivy plants can cleanse the air of mold and fecal particles. "We tend to always look at all plants and say 'get them out of the house' because of mold," Mahr said. "What this unique little study shows is that maybe there are some plants that actually do help over time. It tells us that maybe you don't have to buy an expensive air cleaner."
S. Hasan Arshad, M.D., of University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, and colleagues demonstrated in a randomized controlled study that childhood allergies can be reduced in high-risk infants by combined food and aeroallergen avoidance. "It differs from other recent studies saying that maybe certain exposures in early development might be beneficial," Mahr said. "A lot of people are asking 'What should I do in my home?' The answer is we don't know yet. Hopefully, the results of ongoing research will help us find out which approach is best for a given population."
Alan Wolff, M.D. of Somerset Medical Center, Warren, N.J., and colleagues presented a case study showing that two and half years of immunotherapy following sinus surgery benefited a man with allergic fungal sinusitis. "Sinus surgery alone has been shown not to cure allergic fungal sinusitis," Mahr said. "So the combination of surgery and immunotherapy is probably the better option."
Albuterol Canister Weight Predicts Remaining Sprays
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The weight of an albuterol metered-dose inhaler canister reflects the remaining amount of medication, but some inhalers are easier to predict than others, according to research presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif. Inhalers lack counter mechanisms, which makes it difficult for patients to estimate the remaining dose.
English Ivy Removes Airborne Particulates
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- English ivy is a natural air purifier that removes mold and other particulate matter from the air, according to research presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
Weight Loss Improves Teens' Pulmonary Function
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- When obese teenagers lose weight, they're likely to experience significant improvements in pulmonary function tests, according to research presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
Pollen Grains Rupture in Wet Weather
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Although whole pollen grains are considered too large to enter the lower airways and trigger asthma, the grains may rupture during wet weather into an inhalable size, according to research presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.
Dust Mite Avoidance at Early Age May Prevent Wheezing
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Avoidance of house dust mite allergen in early childhood may reduce the likelihood that children will start wheezing, according to research presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.