The annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology was held from Nov. 4 to 8 in New Orleans 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, Katharine J. Foster, M.D., of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues found that Latino patients have a higher risk for developing asthma exacerbations following COVID-19 infection compared with non-Latino Black and White patients.

For the study, the authors enrolled adult COVID-19-positive patients at the time of infection. The patients had a history of asthma and were evaluated between February and April 2020 and were followed for mean of 6.8 months. The researchers found that Latino patients experienced about 1.6 more weeks of asthma exacerbation following COVID-19 infection compared with non-Latino Black patients and non-Latino White patients. This finding remained true after adjustment for gender, body mass index, age, inhaled corticosteroid use, and allergic/atopic status.

“Additionally, we found that even with some patients experiencing a longer duration of uncontrolled asthma, there were no significant differences in the number of health care provider visits per subject nor in the number of step-up asthma therapy responses,” Foster said. “We want to recommend that providers consider initiating increased scheduled follow-up visits with Latino patients with asthma who become infected with COVID-19 and consider step-up therapy early in the exacerbation.”

Abstract No. A032

In another study, Suzanne Ngo, M.D., of the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues found that most young adults with asthma who are transitioning from pediatric care to adult care have not been prepared for the transition.

In an effort to pinpoint areas of focus for improvement, the authors conducted an online survey among patients ages 18 to 30 years with asthma to evaluate how much preparation young asthma patients were receiving for the transition process between pediatric and adult care. Respondents were asked about their experiences with transition preparation during pediatric care and their current asthma care. Two groups were recruited: a hospital cohort of patients who previously received asthma care by a subspecialist (allergy or pulmonary) at a tertiary hospital center and a university cohort of current students and staff from a university system. The researchers found that most participants did not receive adequate transition preparation from their pediatric asthma providers.

“Main areas for improvement include earlier introduction of transition concepts, which is recommended before the age of 14, and providing information about an adult provider for transfer. Current undergraduate students may be at higher risk for having inadequate asthma care,” Ngo said. “Clear transition plans, including ensuring patients know how to manage their asthma on their own and what providers they should be seeing for ongoing management of asthma, should be developed for all adolescent patients, particularly prior to patients starting college.”

Abstract No. P076

In a retrospective chart review, Mitchell Pitlick, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues found that patients labeled with polyethylene glycol (PEG) allergy may tolerate an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine with no allergic reaction.

The authors reviewed the charts of 100 patients who had a listed PEG allergy but received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The researchers found that all 100 patients tolerated the vaccine with no allergic reaction. The most common “allergy” to PEG was gastrointestinal intolerance, seen in 38 patients.

“PEG allergy label does not preclude mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. Many reported ‘allergies’ are not true allergies; rather, they are simply a side effect or intolerance,” Pitlick said. “More investigation into the mechanism of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine allergic reactions is needed.”

Abstract No. P006

Giulia Martone, M.D., of the University at Buffalo in New York, and colleagues found that both early introduction to eggs before 12 months of age and ingestion of eggs weekly are associated with decreased egg allergy during childhood.

As part of the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, the authors collected infant feeding and food allergy data in surveys conducted prebirth to 6 years of age. Egg allergy was reported by parents by checking the “diagnosed as allergic to egg” option. The researchers identified 1,379 participants who had completed food allergy data through 6 years of age. They found that increased frequency of egg intake in infancy was associated with decreased egg allergy in childhood.

“We encourage early introduction to eggs in infancy in low-risk children,” Martone said. “This study suggests it could help prevent egg allergy development.”

Abstract No. A050

ACAAI: Many Parents Unaware of Guidelines to Prevent Peanut Allergy

MONDAY, Nov. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Less than half of parents and caregivers report being told to introduce peanut-containing foods into a child’s diet by 11 months of age to help prevent peanut allergy, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 4 to 8 in New Orleans.

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ACAAI: Youth With Asthma Not Prepared for Transition to Adult Care

MONDAY, Nov. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Most young adults with asthma report not having received information about transition care to an adult provider, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 4 to 8 in New Orleans.

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ACAAI: Sensitization to Allergens Not Up for Children With Asthma

MONDAY, Nov. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For children with asthma, there was no increase in allergic sensitization to inhalant allergens from 1999 to 2014, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 4 to 8 in New Orleans.

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