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January 19, 2011

NACI In the Know eAlert

New Year = New Set of Guidelines for Clinicians

NIAID Allergy and Asthma Guidelines

Did you know that a good number of people who are allergic to certain foods are also likely to have asthma?

It is estimated that between one third and one half of people with food allergies (34–49 percent) have both. In those cases, the asthma tends to be much more severe, leading to more time spent in the hospital. The good news is that clinicians who provide care to this group now have a new tool to use on their patients’ behalf: "Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy."

These guidelines were developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in conjunction with more than 30 professional organizations, Federal agencies, and patient advocacy groups. They are specifically designed for allergists/immunologists, clinical researchers, and practitioners.

Take a look at the guidelines, and/or review the summary report.

Encouraging clinicians to adhere to guidelines is also a goal of the National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI), which promotes six key actions that clinicians can take to help patients who have asthma breathe easier. 

One of those steps is identifying any triggers—such as a food allergy—that can make asthma worse. If certain foods, food additives, and preservatives (such as sulfites in processed potatoes, shrimp, dried fruit, beer, and wine) cause a patient to have asthma symptoms, clinicians can advise the patient not eat to them. Providing clinicians with guidance on how to help patients manage asthma—including avoiding their asthma triggers—is how the NACI is helping people take control of asthma.

To learn more about what the NACI is currently doing to assist clinicians in improving the lives of asthma patients, visit our Web site and check out/sign up for the quarterly eNewsletter.