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Long-Term Risk Factors for Developing Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis: A 23-Year Follow-Up Study of College Students

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In the initial study of 23 years ago, 1836 college freshmen were prospectively evaluated by questionnaires, interviews, and physical examinations for medical conditions which included the presence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and positive allergy skin tests to a battery of pollens, animal extracts, and mold. In a 23-year follow-up study, 1021 (64%) returned their completed questionnaires. Of these, 738 (72%) had been skin tested as freshmen.

The results of this follow-up study revealed that the frequency of asthma and allergic rhinitis continue to increase as the individuals become older. Allergic rhinitis and positive allergy skin tests are significant risk factors for developing new asthma. Individuals with either of these diagnoses are about three times more likely to develop asthma than negative controls.

Positive allergy skin tested students have more than twice (2.3x) the risk of developing new hay fever than do negative skin tested students over a 23-year period.

Asthma correlated to allergies in that 61% (51/84) of our asthmatic subjects have positive allergy skin tests.

It is suggested that all asthmatic patients have an allergy evaluation to identify and possibly remove asthma trigger sources.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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