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Sheth S.S.,McGill University | Waserman S.,McMaster University | Kagan R.,North York General Hospital | Alizadehfar R.,McGill University | And 11 more authors.
Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology | Year: 2010

Background: Little is known about the impact of food labeling on the allergic consumer. Objective: To determine the proportion of food-allergic individuals attributing an accidental exposure to inappropriate labeling, failure to read a food label, or ignoring a precautionary statement and to identify factors associated with accidental exposures. Methods: Food-allergic individuals or their caregivers were recruited from a Canadian registry of individuals with a physician-confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy and from allergy awareness organizations. Participants completed questionnaires regarding accidental exposures due to specific food labeling issues. The association between accidental exposures and characteristics of food-allergic individuals or their caregivers was estimated using multivariate logistic regression models. Results: Of 1,862 potential participants, 1,454 (78.1%) responded. Of the 47.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45.1%-50.5%) of respondents who experienced an accidental exposure, 47.0% (95% CI, 43.1%-50.9%) attributed the event to inappropriate labeling, 28.6% (95% CI, 25.1%-32.2%) to failure to read a food label, and 8.3% (95% CI, 6.3%-10.7%) to ignoring a precautionary statement. Food-allergic individuals who were allergic to peanut, tree nut, fish, or shellfish were less likely to experience an accidental exposure due to the allergen not being identified in plain language. Conclusions: A considerable proportion of accidental exposures are attributed to inappropriate labeling, failure to read labels, and ignoring precautionary statements. Clear and consistent labeling of food allergens combined with increased consumer education is necessary to improve consumer confidence and compliance and to reduce accidental exposures. © 2010 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Lavine E.,Humber River Hospital | Clarke A.,University of Calgary | Joseph L.,McGill University | Shand G.,McGill University | And 6 more authors.
Clinical and Experimental Allergy | Year: 2015

Background: Studies suggest that siblings of children with peanut allergy (PNA) have a higher prevalence of PNA than the general population. Objectives: The Canadian Peanut Allergy Registry was used to assess the percentage of siblings of registered index PNA children who were 1) never exposed to peanut or 2) reportedly diagnosed with PNA by a physician without either a history of allergic reaction or a confirmatory testing. Sociodemographic and clinical factors that may be associated with either outcome were evaluated. Methods: Parents completed a questionnaire on siblings' sociodemographic characteristics, exposure and reaction to peanut, confirmatory tests performed and whether PNA had been diagnosed. Results: Of 932 Registry families, 748 families responded, representing 922 siblings. 13.6% of siblings had never been exposed to peanut, 70.4% (n = 88) of which were born after the index child. Almost 9% of siblings (80) were reported as PNA, but almost half of this group had no history of an allergic reaction to peanut, including five children who also had no testing to confirm PNA. Of these 5, 4 were born after PNA diagnosis in the index child. In a multivariate regression analysis for siblings at least 3 years old, those born after PNA diagnosis in the index child were more likely to have never been exposed to peanut. In a univariate analysis, siblings born after the diagnosis of PNA in the index child were more likely to be diagnosed with PNA without supportive history or confirmatory testing. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: These data estimate that more than 10% of siblings of PNA patients will avoid peanut and that siblings born after the diagnosis of PNA in an index child are more likely to have never been exposed. Educational programs and guidelines that caution against unnecessary avoidance are required. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Kastner M.,University of Toronto | Harada L.,Anaphylaxis Canada | Waserman S.,McMaster University
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis can be a challenge because reactions are often unexpected and progress quickly. The focus of anaphylaxis management has mostly been on the acute episode, with little attention given to the long-term management of patients at risk. This is compounded by conflicting information in current guidelines and a general lack of agreement among clinicians about which management strategies are the most appropriate. We systematically reviewed the literature to identify and summarize studies that investigated gaps in anaphylaxis management. Our search included MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews. Studies were included if they addressed an outcome describing gaps in anaphylaxis knowledge, education, anaphylaxis management, and quality of life (QOL). Populations of interest were health care professionals involved in the care of patients at risk for anaphylaxis, and patients of any age, their parents, caregivers, and teachers in primary care, hospital or community settings. Of 5014 citations that were identified, the final 59 studies (selected from 75 full-text articles) met the inclusion criteria. Two hundred and two gaps were identified and classified according to major themes: gaps in knowledge and anaphylaxis management (physicians and patients); gaps in follow-up care (physicians); and QOL of patients and caregivers. Findings from this systematic review revealed gaps in anaphylaxis management at the level of physicians, patients, and the community. Findings will be used to provide a basis for developing interventional strategies to help address these deficiencies. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Cherkaoui S.,University of Montreal | Ben-Shoshan M.,McGill University | Alizadehfar R.,McGill University | Asai Y.,Queens University | And 7 more authors.
Clinical and Translational Allergy | Year: 2015

Background: We previously estimated that the annual rate of accidental exposure to peanut in 1411 children with peanut allergy, followed for 2227 patient-years, was 11.9% (95% CI, 10.6, 13.5). This cohort has increased to 1941 children, contributing 4589 patient-years, and we determined the annual incidence of accidental exposure, described the severity, management, location, and identified associated factors. Findings: Children with physician-confirmed peanut allergy were recruited from Canadian allergy clinics and allergy advocacy organizations from 2004 to May 2014. Parents completed questionnaires regarding accidental exposure to peanut over the preceding year. Five hundred and sixty-seven accidental exposures occurred in 429 children over 4589 patient-years, yielding an annual incidence rate of 12.4% (95% CI, 11.4, 13.4). Of 377 accidental exposures that were moderate or severe, only 109 (28.9%) sought medical attention and of these 109, only 40 (36.7%) received epinephrine. Of the 181 moderate/severe accidental exposures treated outside a health care facility, only 11.6% received epinephrine. Thirty-seven percent of accidental exposures occurred at home. In multivariate analyses, longer disease duration, recruitment through an allergy advocacy association, and having other food allergies decreased the likelihood of accidental exposures. Age ≥ 13 years at study entry and living with a single parent increased the risk. Conclusion: Despite increased awareness, accidental exposures continue to occur, mainly at home, and most are managed inappropriately by both health care professionals and caregivers. Consequently, more education is required on the importance of strict allergen avoidance and the need for prompt and correct management of anaphylaxis. © 2015 Cherkaoui et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

Xu Y.S.,McMaster University | Kastner M.,Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute | Harada L.,Anaphylaxis Canada | Xu A.,University of Western Ontario | And 2 more authors.
Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2014

Background: Examining deaths caused by anaphylaxis may help identify factors that may decrease the risk of these unfortunate events. However, information on fatal anaphylaxis is limited. The objectives of our study were to examine all cases of fatal anaphylaxis in Ontario to determine cause of death, associated features, co factors and trends in mortality. The identification of these factors is important for developing effective strategies to overcome gaps in monitoring and treatment of patients with food allergies and risk for anaphylaxis. Methods: This was a retrospective case-series analysis of all causes of anaphylaxis-related deaths using data from the Ontario Coroner's database between 1986 and 2011. Quantitative data (e.g. demographic) were analyzed using descriptive statistics and frequency analysis using SPSS. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis of grounded theory methodology. Results: We found 92 deaths in the last 26 years related to anaphylaxis. Causes of death, in order of decreasing frequency, included food (40 cases), insect venom (30 cases), iatrogenic (16 cases), and idiopathic (6 cases). Overall, there appears to be a decline in the frequency of food related deaths, but an increase in iatrogenic causes of fatalities. We found factors associated with fatal anaphylaxis included: delayed epinephrine administration, asthma, allergy to peanut, food ingestion outside the home, and teenagers with food allergies. Conclusions: Our findings indicate the need to improve epinephrine auto-injector use in acute reactions, particularly for teens and asthmatics with food allergies. In addition, education can be improved among food service workers and food industry in order to help food allergic patients avoid potentially fatal allergens. The increasing trend in iatrogenic related anaphylaxis is concerning, and requires monitoring and more investigation. © 2014 Xu et al.Ltd.

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