HOME CAT ALLERGEN CONCENTRATIONS RELATE TO ASTHMATIC DISEASE
The first prospective epidemiologic study to demonstrate a relationship between cat allergen concentrations in the home and asthmatic disease among sensitized women was carried out in 458 Boston, Massachusetts, mothers. To participate, the women had to suffer from doctor-diagnosed specific sensitization or allergic disease. They were evaluated for allergen sensitization; home exposure to dust mite, cockroach, and cat allergen; and asthma symptoms. According to the authors, there were 19 doctor-diagnosed female asthmatics who were sensitized and exposed to high levels of cat allergen in their living rooms. These individuals reported greater difficulty with asthma during the prior year, in addition to having wheezed more often without a cold. Over the four-year follow-up period, the affected persons continued to suffer from asthma, used steroid medication more often, and continued to wheeze despite having no cold. To gather data at the start of the study, the research team collected dust samples from individual homes of the mothers to assay for dust mite, cat dander, and cockroach allergens. The women were also measured for specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to specific antigens under study. The research appears in the first issue for April of the American Thoracic Societys peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
DELAY IN DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FOR TUBERCULOSIS IS COMMON
In a three-year study involving 17 Canadian acute-care hospitals in four cities, investigators found that initially missed diagnoses and delayed treatment for patients with active tuberculosis (TB) were not only common, but were strongly associated with late admission to the intensive care unit, as well as in-hospital death. According to the researchers, as the number of TB
admissions to the hospitals decreased, the outcome for patients was
Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society