July 15, 2024

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 Food Allergies Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Death Risk

 Food Allergies Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Death Risk, Milk Allergy Doubles the Risk



 Food Allergies Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Death Risk, Milk Allergy Doubles the Risk

Food allergies may have a significant impact on cardiovascular health, according to a recent study published in the official journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Scientists from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that individuals with at least one food allergy identified through specific IgE testing face a 70% higher risk of cardiovascular death. Notably, milk allergy was associated with a doubling of the risk, as evidenced in two large cohorts.

This groundbreaking discovery challenges the prevailing notion that sensitization without apparent allergy symptoms is benign. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this association.

 

 Food Allergies Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Death Risk, Milk Allergy Doubles the Risk

 

 

The study utilized data from two large American cohorts, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) at the Wake Forest site. Participants with no history of cardiovascular disease at baseline underwent testing for total IgE and specific IgE for various allergens, including milk, eggs, peanuts, shrimp, and several airborne allergens.

In the NHANES cohort of 4,414 participants, 15% had at least one food allergy, with 166 individuals allergic to milk. Over a median follow-up of 13.8 years, 874 deaths occurred, with 229 attributed to cardiovascular disease.

In the MESA-Wake Forest cohort of 960 participants, 37 had a milk allergy. Over a median follow-up of 17.7 years, 290 deaths occurred, including 56 due to non-stroke cardiovascular disease.

 

 Food Allergies Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Death Risk, Milk Allergy Doubles the Risk

All-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the overall population and by allergen subgroups in the NHANES and MESA cohorts

 

After adjusting for age, race, gender, smoking history, asthma, and education level, the NHANES cohort revealed a significant 70% increase in cardiovascular death risk associated with at least one food allergy (p < 0.005). Among individual allergens, milk allergy showed a significant 100% increase in cardiovascular death risk (p = 0.026). Additional adjustments for diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension (model 2), as well as atopic dermatitis (model 3), did not substantially alter this risk pattern.

In the MESA-Wake Forest cohort, both model 1 and model 2 indicated a significant 280% (p = 0.003) and 250% (p = 0.007) increase in cardiovascular death risk associated with milk allergy.

 Food Allergies Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Death Risk, Milk Allergy Doubles the Risk

Association between milk sensitization and cardiovascular mortality risk in model 1 in NHANES and MESA cohorts

 

The study found no significant correlation between airborne allergens and cardiovascular death risk in either cohort.

 Food Allergies Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Death Risk, Milk Allergy Doubles the Risk

Associations between different allergens and risk of cardiovascular death

 

In summary, this research establishes a link between food allergies and increased cardiovascular death risk, with milk allergy showing the most significant association among various food allergens.

While this is the first time a connection has been identified between milk allergy and cardiovascular death, previous population studies have linked atopic dermatitis, asthma, and total IgE to cardiovascular disease risk, and alpha-galactose (found in mammalian meats and dairy) allergy to the severity of coronary artery disease.

Considering these findings, researchers emphasize the importance of further investigating allergy-related immune pathways in cardiovascular physiology and disease mechanisms. Future work will aim to determine causality and understand the mechanisms at play in this relationship.

 Food Allergies Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Death Risk, Milk Allergy Doubles the Risk

Reference:

[1] Luo J, Zhang Q, Gu Y, et al. Meta-Analysis: Prevalence of Food Allergy and Food Allergens—China, 2000− 2021[J]. China CDC Weekly, 2022, 4(34): 766-770.

[2] Keet C, McGowan E C, Jacobs D, et al. IgE to common food allergens is associated with cardiovascular mortality in the National Health and Examination Survey and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis[J]. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2023.

(source:internet, reference only)


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