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Asthma and food allergy

Ozol, Duygua; Mete, Eminb

Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: January 2008 - Volume 14 - Issue 1 - p 9–12
doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e3282f1981c
Asthma: Edited by Richard Barbers

Purpose of review Food allergy associated clinical and social burdens have increased substantially in prevalence in the past decade. Coexisting asthma is a significant problem as food reactions tend to be more severe when they involve the lung. Food allergy also increases asthma morbidity in adults and children.

Recent findings Especially in early infancy, food allergy can be related to the development of future asthma. For diagnosis, cut-off values are very important for both specific IgE levels and skin-prick test when interpreting food allergy. For the treatment, oral immunotherapy is showing promise for refractory patients with IgE-mediated food allergies.

Summary Food allergies can be classified as IgE-mediated or non-IgE-mediated. Besides foods, some additives and preservatives can also trigger asthma in certain people. Asthma may develop in about 5% of individuals who suffer from food allergy and current asthma may be triggered by foods among 6–8% of children and 2% of adults. Because of the difficulty of confirming diagnosis of food allergy, novel approaches are currently being investigated and new therapy modalities are being sought. For total asthma control and for better quality of life, steps should be taken to avoid foods in cases of food allergy.

aDepartment of Pulmonology, Fatih University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

bDepartment of Pediatry, Fatih University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence to Dr Duygu Ozol, Department of Pulmonology, Fatih University Faculty of Medicine, Hosdere cad. No:145, Ankara, Turkey 06540 Tel: +90 312 427 29 96; e-mail:;

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.