Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 5 Issue 229 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 17-Aug-2003 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 18-Aug-2003
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Asthma and the cockroach
Cockroach antigens are proteins found in the insects' feces, saliva, eggs, and shed cuticles that can trigger allergic reactions (and the corresponding formation of antibodies) when they become airborne and are inhaled by humans. Cockroach antigens produce allergic effects particularly in children, including respiratory symptoms and especially asthma.  more

Asthma basics
In many people, asthma appears to be an allergic reaction to substances commonly breathed in through the air, such as animal dander, pollen, or dust mite and cockroach waste products. The catch-all name for these substances, allergens, refers to anything that provokes an allergic reaction. Some people have a genetic predisposition to react to certain allergens. more


Information for patients: Cockroaches, asthma, and allergies
Recent studies have found a strong association between the presence of cockroaches and increases in the severity of asthma symptoms in individuals who are sensitive to cockroach allergens.  more

Anti-asthma medications: Too much of a good thing?
In an unusual paradox, asthmatics that are chronically treated with bronchodilating beta-agonist medications such as albuterol, ventolin, and salbutamol may ultimately develop increased sensitivity to airway constriction and experience exacerbation of their condition. A new study by Stephen Liggett and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati in the August 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation describes a responsible mechanism for this adverse reaction and reveals a potential new therapeutic target in the treatment of asthma. more

Information for schools and parents: The asthma action card
According to a GAO report over 50 percent of our nation's schools have poor ventilation and significant sources of pollution in buildings where nearly 55 million students, teachers, and school staff spend the majority of their time. This especially effects children with asthma who are particularly susceptible to indoor pollutants. Asthma, a chronic childhood disease, is responsible for 10 million missed school days per year. In the last 15 years, there has been a 160 percent rise in the incidence of asthma among young children. About one in 13 school-age children has asthma, and the number of affected children is increasing. Asthma is the leading cause of long-term illness in children. EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Kit is helping to reduce those risks. This asthma action card is just one part of the kit and is provided to our readers today as a service of the Vidyya Medical News Service(sm).  more

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