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2017 American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Updates

FAACT attended the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in Boston – one of the nation’s leading associations for medical care professionals working on allergies and asthma. “It was a great opportunity to learn about new medical findings and network with leaders in the allergy community, as well as share FAACT’s programs and resources,” Eleanor says. Medical highlights include:

  • Peanut allergy numbers rising: New data suggests peanut allergy in children has increased 21 percent since 2010, and the risk of peanut allergy is double for African-American children.

  • Pediatricians not providing peanut guidance: Guidelines to help parents introduce peanut-containing products to infants to prevent peanut allergies aren’t being discussed. New research shows pediatricians are not only not having the discussion, they’re not referring high-risk babies for testing prior to peanut introduction.

  • Food allergy risk for adults: Almost half of all food-allergic adults surveyed reported one or more adult-onset food allergies. In addition, African-American, Asian, and Hispanic adults are at higher risk of developing allergies to shellfish and peanuts.

  • More people passing tree nut oral challenges: People with tree-nut sensitivity who have never eaten that tree nut are at lower risk of a reaction than previously thought, and up to 50 percent pass oral challenges.

  • Anxiety about food allergies: People with food allergies can show signs of anxiety in many different (and sometimes subtle) ways, including social changes and difficulty concentrating. The good news is that parents of kids with food allergies can be great role models and help reduce anxiety.

  • Peanuts at school: School-wide bans on peanuts have not been associated with reduced rates of epinephrine use, but class-wide bans may be.

  • Extended EpiPen usefulness: EpiPen products can retain substantial amounts of epinephrine well beyond their expiration dates. Although the goal is to have up-to-date prescriptions at all times, don’t withhold use of an expired device if it is the only option available.

  • Increased anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis incidence has increase by 4% per study year; 10% increase per year for food-related anaphylaxis.

  • 2015-2016 EpiPen4Schools Survey in two studies - Dr. Martha White presented results:

    The first survey on “Characteristics of Anaphylactic Events in Schools showed the following:
        • 1568 anaphylactic events were reported among the 8,048 schools responding to the survey.
        • Of the anaphylactic events with data available on allergy, 63% of events occurred in individuals with a known allergy, 30% occurred in individuals with no known allergy, allergy status was unknown in 7% of cases.
        • Of anaphylactic events with data available on asthma history, 29.2% of anaphylactic events occurred in individuals with a history or diagnosis of asthma.

            In another study, Improvements in the Proper Management of Anaphylaxis in Schools”, survey                                     results showed:

        • Guidelines for the management of anaphylaxis in schools was followed more often in 2015-2016 than in the previous year
        • A higher proportion of events was treated with an epinephrine auto injector from the Epipen4Schools program than in the previous year.
        • Here is the press release celebrating Mylan’s donation of the millionth pen from EpiPen4Schools program from 73,000 schools currently participating in the program.


Next year’s ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting is scheduled for November 15-19, 2018 in Seattle.