This article is part of Pulmonology Advisor‘s coverage of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, taking place in Orlando, Florida. Our staff will report on medical research related to asthma and other respiratory conditions, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from AAAAI/WAO 2018.

ORLANDO — Patients who have food allergies but not atopic dermatitis may use more antibiotic and gastroesophageal reflux medications compared with patients who have both food allergies and atopic dermatitis, according to research presented at the 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology/World Allergy Organization Joint Congress in Orlando, Florida.

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Researchers conducted a study using patient information from the National Jewish Health Research Database. A total of 5822 individuals aged 0 to 18 years with a diagnosis of food allergy were included; 4913 of the total cohort also had atopic dermatitis and 93 had no history of atopic dermatitis. Milk, egg, and peanut allergies were defined as either a history of an immediate reaction to food and a positive skin test or an Immunocap ≥95% positive predictive value for that food.

As the researchers explained, atopic dermatitis is associated with food allergy. The sensitization is thought to occur from allergen exposure because of skin barrier dysfunction. However, not much is known about patients with food allergy who do not have atopic dermatitis.

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In this study, egg and peanut allergy diagnoses were significantly more associated with antibiotic use (P =.02 and <.001, respectively) in patients without atopic dermatitis. In addition, significantly more patients with food allergies without atopic dermatitis had a history of gastroesophageal reflux medication use (P <.001).

“These data suggest that the gut barrier could be where the non-[atopic dermatitis] group becomes sensitized to food,” the researchers concluded. 

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Cho CB, Everett DC, Ramirez-Gama M, Leung DYM. Food allergy without a history of atopic dermatitis is associated with increased antibiotic and gastroesophageal reflux medication use. Presented at: 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology/World Allergy Organization Joint Congress; March 2-5, 2018; Orlando, FL. Abstract 484.