Is there a way to derail the children's 'Allergy March'?

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Most everyone agrees that in every child's life there are certain "Kodak moments." They can include the first steps, spoken words, an inaugural journey on a two-wheeled bicycle, or entrance into junior high.

Unfortunately, there can also be unpleasant milestones, such as allergic diseases occurring at a specific age range. These include eczema shortly after birth, gastrointestinal diseases as the child approaches age two, and asthma and other upper respiratory diseases starting at age three and lasting through young adulthood. This is the "Allergy March."

A physician from the Mayo Clinic is presenting an assessment of how proper intervention can derail this march from causing a wide range of uncomfortable illnesses for the pediatric population. He notes that early detection of allergies is key to management of the disease progression. This can entail linking allergic syndromes to a specific age, identifying the underlying genetic hypersensitivity to the disease (atopy), and developing an allergen avoidance and treatment plan to derail the Allergy March.

Henry A. Homburger, MD is from the Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He will make his presentation on "The Allergy March" at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) being held July 20-24, 2003 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA. More than 16,000 attendees are expected.


The impact of childhood allergies can be considerable. More than two million lost school days are incurred each year. Continued absence can lead to behavioral and learning problems in school. Even when a child is able to attend school the allergies can be debilitating, causing a severe limitation of physical activity and subsequent loss of self-esteem, especially in social interaction with other children.

A disposition towards an allergic reaction

Contact: Donna Krupa
American Association for Clinical Chemistry

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