Interesting Journal Articles

Survey of physicians' approach to food allergy, part 2: allergens, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 2008, vol. 100, no. 3, pp. 250 - 255, 03/2008.

Nonallergists differed from allergists in the diagnostic methods, using more leukocytotoxic tests, specific IgG4 tests, and intradermal tests, but fewer percutaneous skin tests (44.7% vs 98.9%), specific IgE tests (73.4% vs 97.8%), and challenges (61.1% vs 87.6%). Allergists were more likely to rely on elimination of proven food allergens and less likely to use conventional elimination diets, rotation diets, and sublingual or subcutaneous hyposensitization. Allergists were more likely to recommend a diet regimen during pregnancy (76.7% vs 35.3%) and lactation, breastfeeding, hydrolysate formulas (83.5% vs 64.3%), and withholding solids until the age of 6 months.

Asthma-related medication use among children in the United States. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 2008, vol. 100, no. 3, pp. 222 - 229, 03/2008.

Fifteen percent of all children were dispensed an asthma-related medication. Among children with an asthma diagnosis, 86% had a dispensed asthma-related medication during the 2-year study period. Among children without any asthma diagnoses, 10% had a dispensed medication. Fifty-nine percent of children with an asthma diagnosis were dispensed an anti-inflammatory medication within 90 days after a diagnosis of asthma.

Exposure to multiple indoor allergens in US homes and its relationship to asthma. JACI, Volume 121, Issue 3, Pages 678-684.e2 (March 2008).

Exposure to multiple allergens was common in US homes -- 51.5% had at least 6 detectable allergens and 45.8% had at least 3 allergens exceeding increased levels. Race, income, housing type, absence of children, and presence of smokers, pets, cockroaches, rodents, and mold/moisture-related problems were independent predictors of high allergen burden which increased the odds of having asthma symptoms.

Delayed allergic reactions to omalizumab: Are patients reporting all cases? JACI, 03/2008.

Omalizumab also successful in chronic urticaria. JACI, 03/2008.

Early clinical predictors of remission of peanut allergy in children. JACI, 03/2008.

Remission of peanut allergy can be predicted by low levels of IgE to peanut in the first 2 years of life or decreasing levels of IgE sensitization by the age of 3 years.

Does exhaled nitric oxide measurement help distinguish between wheezing phenotypes in preschool children? JACI, 03/2008.

Asthma progression: Can we and should we measure it? JACI, 03/2008.

See the picture on the JACI cover which depicts the 3 witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth conjuring up a brew of allergens, viruses, environmental pollutants, and genetics that might play a role in developing bad outcomes of asthma.

Vitamin D deficiency and asthma: Not a strong link—yet. JACI, 03/2008.

A time efficient way to stay up-to-date with medical literature

"How do you eat in elephant? In small bites." The same rule probably applies to staying current with the ever expanding avalanche of medical literature. One can try the following approach:

1. Subscribe the to the RSS feeds of the 5 major medical journals (NEJM, JAMA, BMJ, Lancet and Annals) plus 2-3 subpecialty journals in your field of interest.

Medical Journals tab: A screenshot of iGoogle with RSS feeds from the major medical journals.

2. Read the journal on the day it is published online, for example, NEJM on Wednesdays.

3. Use text-to-speech to listen to articles you do not have time to read.

4. Listen to journal podcasts. Click here to subscribe the podcasts of the 4 major journals in iGoogle.

Make Your Own "Medical Journal" with iGoogle Personalized Page
Share iGoogle Tabs with Medical Journals, Podcasts and Gadgets
Annals of Internal Medicine Launches Podcast and Audio Summaries
Text-to-Speech Programs and Continuous Medical Education
Image source: OpenClipArt, public domain.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3/28/2008

    Great advice on the journal articles. I'm going to have to get that feed stuff going.

    Any chance you've run across info on probiotics and the use of them in addressing allergies, asthma and the like? Interesting buzz going on the possible connection between low gut microflora and allergies in children. Not seen much research yet though.

    Thanks for the info and great blog!