ResearchPad - allergies https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Associations of dog and cat ownership with wheezing and asthma in children: Pilot study of the Japan Environment and children's study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14570 No previous study has used repeated measures data to examine the associations of dog/cat ownership with wheezing and asthma prevalence among children. This prospective study used repeated measurers analysis to determine whether dog/cat ownership in childhood is an independent risk factor for wheezing and asthma, after adjustment for gestational, socio-economical, and demographical confounders confounders, in Japan.MethodsWe conducted a multicenter pilot study of the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS) during 2009–2010. Among 440 newborn infants enrolled, 410 (52.8% males) were evaluated for dog/cat ownership in the home and history of wheezing and asthma in five follow-up questionnaire surveys (until age 6 years). Dog/cat ownership during follow-up period was categorized into four groups: 7.6% were long-term dog/cat owners, 5.9% were toddler-age owners, 5.9% were preschool-age owners, and 80.7% were never owners.ResultsThe prevalence of wheezing during follow-up period increased from 20.8% to 35.4% and the prevalence of asthma increased from 1.3% to 16.3%. A fitted logistic generalized estimating equation models including important confounders showed no significant associations of the interaction between dog and/or cat ownership and follow-up time with the risks of wheezing and asthma. However, the risks of wheezing and asthma were slightly lower for long-term and toddler-age dog/cat owners than for preschool-age and never owners.ConclusionsThe present findings suggest that dog and cat ownership from toddler-age does not increase the risks of wheezing and asthma compared with never owners among Japanese children. ]]> <![CDATA[Likely questionnaire-diagnosed food allergy in 78, 890 adults from the northern Netherlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13854 It is challenging to define likely food allergy (FA) in large populations which limited the number of large studies regarding risk factors for FA.ObjectiveWe studied the prevalence and characteristics of self-reported FA (s-rFA) in the large, population-based Dutch Lifelines cohort and identified associated risk factors.MethodsLikely food allergic cases (LikelyFA) were classified based on questionnaire reported characteristics consistent with FA. Subjects with atypical characteristics were classified as Indeterminate. We investigated 13 potential risk factors for LikelyFA such as birth mode and living on a farm and addressed health-related quality of life (H-RQOL).ResultsOf the 78, 890 subjects, 12.1% had s-rFA of which 4.0% and 8.1% were classified as LikelyFA and Indeterminate, respectively. Younger age, female sex, asthma, eczema and nasal allergy increased the risk of LikelyFA (p-value range <1.00*10−250–1.29*10−7). Living in a small city/large village or suburb during childhood was associated with a higher risk of LikelyFA than living on a farm (p-value = 7.81*10−4 and p = 4.84*10−4, respectively). Subjects classified as Indeterminate more often reported depression and burn-out compared to those without FA (p-value = 1.46*10−4 and p = 8.39*10−13, respectively). No association was found with ethnicity, (duration of) breastfeeding, birth mode and reported eating disorder. Mental and physical component scores measuring H-RQOL were lower in both those classified as LikelyFA and Indeterminate compared to those without FA.ConclusionThe prevalence of s-rFA among adults is considerable and one-third reports characteristics consistent with LikelyFA. Living on a farm decreased the risk of LikelyFA. The association of poorer H-RQOL as well as depression and burn-out with questionable self-perceived FA is striking and a priority for future study. ]]> <![CDATA[Base-rate expectations modulate the causal illusion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823c7d5eed0c484638fca

Previous research revealed that people’s judgments of causality between a target cause and an outcome in null contingency settings can be biased by various factors, leading to causal illusions (i.e., incorrectly reporting a causal relationship where there is none). In two experiments, we examined whether this causal illusion is sensitive to prior expectations about base-rates. Thus, we pretrained participants to expect either a high outcome base-rate (Experiment 1) or a low outcome base-rate (Experiment 2). This pretraining was followed by a standard contingency task in which the target cause and the outcome were not contingent with each other (i.e., there was no causal relation between them). Subsequent causal judgments were affected by the pretraining: When the outcome base-rate was expected to be high, the causal illusion was reduced, and the opposite was observed when the outcome base-rate was expected to be low. The results are discussed in the light of several explanatory accounts (associative and computational). A rational account of contingency learning based on the evidential value of information can predict our findings.

]]>
<![CDATA[Acute rhinosinusitis among pediatric patients with allergic rhinitis: A nationwide, population-based cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75e2d5eed0c4843d03bf

Background

While chronic rhinosinusitis is a common complication of allergic rhinitis, the link between acute rhinosinusitis and allergic rhinitis is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of incident acute rhinosinusitis among pediatric patients with allergic rhinitis, using a nationwide, population-based health claims research database.

Methods

Newly diagnosed allergic rhinitis patients aged 5–18 years were identified from the health claim records of the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 of Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. A comparison cohort was assembled by randomly selecting patients from the same database with frequency matching by sex, age group, and index year. All patients were followed until a diagnosis of acute rhinosinusitis or the end of the follow-up period. Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the association between allergic rhinitis and acute rhinosinusitis.

Results

Of the 43,588 pediatric patients included in this study, 55.4% were male and 43.9% were between the ages of 5.0–7.9 years. The risk of acute rhinosinusitis was significantly higher in pediatric patients with allergic rhinitis compared to those without the condition (adjusted hazard ratio = 3.03, 95% confidence interval = 2.89–3.18). Similar hazard ratios were observed between male and female pediatric patients.

Conclusions

This secondary cohort study using a nationwide, population-based health claim data of the Taiwan’s NHIRD showed that allergic rhinitis was significantly associated with a higher risk of acute rhinosinusitis among pediatric patients.

]]>
<![CDATA[San Antonio refugees: Their demographics, healthcare profiles, and how to better serve them]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75abe5d5eed0c484d07e5c

Objective

The recent refugee crisis has resulted in the largest burden of displacement in history, with the US being the top resettlement country since 1975. Texas welcomed the second most US-bound refugees in 2016, with a large percentage arriving in San Antonio. Yet, the composition of the San Antonio refugees has not been described and their healthcare needs remain ill-defined. Through this study, we aim at elucidating their demographics and healthcare profiles, with the goal of devising recommendations to help guide refugee program development and guide other refugee resettlement programs.

Methods

Data from 731 charts belonging to 448 patients at the San Antonio Refugee Health Clinic (SARHC) were extracted and analyzed. Data included age, gender, country of origin, first language, interpretation need, health insurance status, medical history, vital signs, diagnoses, and prescribed medications.

Results

Women constituted the majority of patients (n = 267; 56.4%), and the median age of all patients was 39 (Q1:26, Q3:52). Nepali-speaking Bhutanese patients were the most represented group (n = 107, 43.1%), followed by Iraqi (n = 35, 14.1%), Burmese (n = 30, 12.1%), and Iranian (n = 19, 7.7%) refugees. Of those who responded, 200 (86.6%) did not have any form of health insurance. Additionally, 262 (50.9%) had a body-mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese range. Further, 61.4% (n = 337) had blood pressures in the hypertensive range, while 9.3% (n = 51) had an elevated blood pressure. On average, each patient had 1.9 complaints, with abdominal pain, headaches, and cough being the predominant complaints. Allergic rhinitis, viral upper respiratory infections, and elevated blood pressure were the most common diagnoses. However, the list of common diagnoses differed per country of origin.

Conclusion

The SARHC demographics were different from those of other Texas refugees. The rate of the uninsured and the burden of non-communicable diseases were high. Furthermore, each refugee subgroup had a different set of common problems. These findings reveal important considerations for refugee healthcare providers and the unique approach that may be required for different communities.

]]>
<![CDATA[Utilizing longitudinal microbiome taxonomic profiles to predict food allergy via Long Short-Term Memory networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8e9d5eed0c48496f3af

Food allergy is usually difficult to diagnose in early life, and the inability to diagnose patients with atopic diseases at an early age may lead to severe complications. Numerous studies have suggested an association between the infant gut microbiome and development of allergy. In this work, we investigated the capacity of Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks to predict food allergies in early life (0-3 years) from subjects’ longitudinal gut microbiome profiles. Using the DIABIMMUNE dataset, we show an increase in predictive power using our model compared to Hidden Markov Model, Multi-Layer Perceptron Neural Network, Support Vector Machine, Random Forest, and LASSO regression. We further evaluated whether the training of LSTM networks benefits from reduced representations of microbial features. We considered sparse autoencoder for extraction of potential latent representations in addition to standard feature selection procedures based on Minimum Redundancy Maximum Relevance (mRMR) and variance prior to the training of LSTM networks. The comprehensive evaluation reveals that LSTM networks with the mRMR selected features achieve significantly better performance compared to the other tested machine learning models.

]]>
<![CDATA[Real-world utilization patterns of systemic immunosuppressants among US adult patients with atopic dermatitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c644930d5eed0c484c2f855

At the time of this study, prior to the introduction of biologics in the US, systemic therapies used for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis included off-label immunosuppressants and corticosteroids. Immunosuppressant therapy is associated with a substantial risk of side-effects, therefore needing clinical monitoring, and is likely to incur a significant healthcare burden for patients and payers. This retrospective cohort study based on claims data measured immunosuppressant use and its associated burden among US adult patients with atopic dermatitis covered under commercial or Medicare Supplemental insurance from January 01, 2010, to September 30, 2015. Overall, based on age, gender, region, and index year, 4201 control patients with atopic dermatitis without immunosuppressant use were matched with 4204 patients treated with immunosuppressants. The majority (68.5%) of patients using immunosuppressants were non-persistent with immunosuppressant treatment during the 12-month follow-up period after a mean (standard deviation) of 88.1 (70.7) days of immunosuppressant use; 72.3% required systemic steroid rescue treatment. Immunosuppressant users had higher incidence of immunosuppressant-related clinical events than controls; in addition, a larger proportion of immunosuppressant users versus controls developed cancer (0.28% vs 0.14%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Healthcare utilization and costs associated with clinical events and monitoring were also higher for immunosuppressant users compared with controls (total costs, $9516 vs $1630, respectively; P < 0.0001; monitoring costs, $363 vs $54, respectively; P < 0.0001). This study revealed that patients treated with systemic immunosuppressants often require systemic steroids or changes to treatment. The increase in immunosuppressant-related clinical events, including the need for increased monitoring with immunosuppressant treatment, compared with controls demonstrates a substantial treatment burden and highlights the unmet need for more effective long-term therapies for atopic dermatitis with improved safety profiles and reduced monitoring requirements.

]]>
<![CDATA[Chronological changes in rhinitis symptoms present in school-aged children with allergic sensitization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a4cd5eed0c4847ccd03

Introduction

It is difficult to accurately predict the natural course of allergic rhinitis (AR), because it is affected by a wide variety of environmental influences, as well as genetic predisposition. Considering the high prevalence of allergic rhinitis in children and adolescents, caregivers should be given appropriate information regarding the disease course. This study aimed to understand the prognosis of allergic rhinitis by examining the relationship between allergic sensitization and rhinitis symptoms during this developmental period.

Methods

This cross-sectional study included 1069 children aged 9–16 years from the Korean International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Survey database who had completed health questionnaires, and for whom skin prick test results were available. Data were collected during May 2016. The distribution of sensitization and allergic symptoms was compared by age groups (elementary, middle, and high school). Data were analyzed using linear-by-linear analysis.

Results

Sensitization to at least one tested allergen differed by age (59.2%, 58.3%, 68.2%, in elementary, middle, and high school students, respectively; p = 0.025), and seasonal allergen sensitization (35.0%, 37.1%, 53.9%, respectively) increased with age (p < 0.001). Conversely, the proportion of rhinitis symptoms among sensitized children decreased as age increased (58.80%, 52.90%, 49.70%, respectively; p = 0.047). However, the rate of non-allergic rhinitis was age-independent.

Conclusion

With increasing age during childhood and adolescence, symptomatic allergic rhinitis decreases; thus, subclinical allergic rhinitis increases. This suggests that the symptoms of later-sensitized children are less clearly manifested, or that the symptoms reduce as previously sensitized children mature. This should be clarified further in a longitudinal study.

]]>
<![CDATA[Development of the covalent antibody-DNA conjugates technology for detection of IgE and IgM antibodies by immuno-PCR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bc3d5eed0c48491e355

Immuno-PCR (iPCR) is one of the methods used for the detection of a wide range of analytes and features the high sensitivity of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. iPCR uses antibodies coupled to DNA, followed by the amplification of the attached DNA using RT-PCR. Two major types of antibody-DNA conjugates are currently used, which are obtained as a result of non-covalent (biotin-streptavidin) or covalent interactions. Using a strain-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SPAAC), we synthesized covalent DNA-antibody conjugates, optimized the reaction conditions, and developed an efficient protocol for the purification of conjugates, with which all unreacted antibodies and oligonucleotides are separated. Covalent DNA-antibody conjugates were tested with iPCR assays that were previously developed for the detection of IgE and IgM antibodies with the use of the supramolecular complex of 5'- and 3'-biotinylated DNA and streptavidin. The results show that the modification of antibodies with amino groups did not allow us to obtain monolabeled antibodies or antibodies with a strictly defined number of DNA-labels. The degree of labeling determined by the dyes introduced through the azido group reflects the actual labeling degree statistically. If the average labeling degree for azido groups is 1.1, the conjugates contain 25% mono-labeled antibodies, 50% double-labeled antibodies, and 25% unlabeled ones. The specificity of the monoclonal antibody to human IgE (BE5) changed after conjugation with the oligonucleotide. The sensitivity of iPCR in the detection of IgM antibodies produced against the LeC disaccharide using a covalent conjugate was similar to that of a supramolecular complex of 5'- and 3'-biotinylated DNA and streptavidin, but the new procedure is two steps shorter.

]]>
<![CDATA[Beyond opinion classification: Extracting facts, opinions and experiences from health forums]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa56ad5eed0c484ca4115

Introduction

Surveys indicate that patients, particularly those suffering from chronic conditions, strongly benefit from the information found in social networks and online forums. One challenge in accessing online health information is to differentiate between factual and more subjective information. In this work, we evaluate the feasibility of exploiting lexical, syntactic, semantic, network-based and emotional properties of texts to automatically classify patient-generated contents into three types: “experiences”, “facts” and “opinions”, using machine learning algorithms. In this context, our goal is to develop automatic methods that will make online health information more easily accessible and useful for patients, professionals and researchers.

Material and methods

We work with a set of 3000 posts to online health forums in breast cancer, morbus crohn and different allergies. Each sentence in a post is manually labeled as “experience”, “fact” or “opinion”. Using this data, we train a support vector machine algorithm to perform classification. The results are evaluated in a 10-fold cross validation procedure.

Results

Overall, we find that it is possible to predict the type of information contained in a forum post with a very high accuracy (over 80 percent) using simple text representations such as word embeddings and bags of words. We also analyze more complex features such as those based on the network properties, the polarity of words and the verbal tense of the sentences and show that, when combined with the previous ones, they can boost the results.

]]>
<![CDATA[Penicillin skin testing in methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus bacteremia: A cost-effectiveness analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0135d5eed0c48403937e

Background

Beta-lactams are the mainstay for treating methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) infections complicated by bacteremia due to superior outcomes compared with vancomycin. With approximately 11% of inpatients reporting a penicillin (PCN) allergy, many patients receive suboptimal treatment for MSSA bacteremia.

Objective

Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of penicillin skin testing (PST) in adult patients with self-reported PCN allergy in an inpatient setting undergoing treatment for MSSA bacteremia.

Methods

A decision analytic model was developed comparing an acute care PST intervention to a scenario with no confirmatory allergy testing. The primary outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) from the health-sector perspective over a 1-year time horizon using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as the measure for effectiveness. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the uncertainty of the ICER estimation.

Results

Over a 1-year time horizon, PST services applied to all MSSA bacteremia patients reporting a PCN-allergy would result in a cost per patient of $12,559 and 0.73 QALYs while no PST services would have a higher cost per patient of $13,219 and 0.66 QALYs per patient. This resulted in a cost-effectiveness estimate of -$9,429 per QALY gained. Varying the cost of implementing PST services determined a break-even point of $959.98 where any PST cost less than this amount would actually be cost saving.

Conclusions

Patients reporting a PCN allergy on admission may receive sub-optimal alternative therapies to beta-lactams, such as vancomycin, for MSSA bacteremia. This economic analysis demonstrates that inpatient PST services confirming PCN allergy are cost-effective for patients with MSSA bacteremia.

]]>
<![CDATA[Anisakiasis in Italy: Analysis of hospital discharge records in the years 2005-2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966f2d5eed0c484b53669

Background

Anisakiasis is a fish-borne zoonosis caused by the ingestion of marine food infected with Anisakis third-stage larvae, widespread marine parasitic nematodes. Gastrointestinal and/or allergic clinical signs and symptoms are not specific. While frequently reported in countries with large raw fish consumption as Japan, the global prevalence of anisakiasis may be severely underestimated due to limitations of available diagnostic tools and to diverse clinical manifestations. Recently, infective larvae were found in the same localization with gastrointestinal tumors. The occurrence of allergic exacerbation upon secondary exposure and the possible occupational exposure, highlight the need to increase scientific evidences on anisakiasis.

Methods

We performed a retrospective descriptive study using analysis of Hospital Discharge Records (HDRs) from 2005 to 2015 in Italy, with particular attention to allergic manifestations. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses were performed using backward step-wise logistic regression models to assess spatial distribution and temporal trend as well as the variables independently associated with the allergic clinical signs and symptoms in Italian cases of anisakiasis.

Results

HDRs reporting the ICD-9 code for anisakiasis were retrieved (370), with a higher number of cases reported from central and southern regions, with particular regard to populations inhabiting the coastal territories. Around 40% of patients presented allergic manifestations and half of them showed serious allergic reactions. The multivariate analyses showed an independent association between allergic manifestations and features as living in southern regions and female gender, while anaphylactic episodes was independently associated only with female gender.

Conclusion

The present study is the first attempt to a better understanding of the epidemiological picture of anisakiasis in Italy, mining official data. A common strategy on data collection, monitoring and reporting would favor a more accurate epidemiological scenario in Italy, since the report of the diseases is not mandatory.

]]>
<![CDATA[Lower allergen levels in hypoallergenic Curly Horses? A comparison among breeds by measurements of horse allergens in hair and air samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab852d5eed0c4840278d8

Background

Exposure to horses can cause severe allergic reactions in sensitized individuals. The breed, American Bashkir Curly Horse is categorized as hypoallergenic, primarily due to reports of allergic patients experiencing fewer symptoms while handling this special breed. The possible reasons for this phenomenon could be lower allergen production and/or reduced allergen release into the air because of increased sebum content in their skin and hair compared to other breeds. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to compare different horse breeds in relation to allergen content in hair and airborne dust samples.

Methods

In total, 224 hair samples from 32 different horse breeds were investigated. Personal nasal filters were used to collect airborne dust during the grooming of 20 Curly Horses and 20 Quarter Horses. Quantitative analysis of all samples was performed using two newly developed immunoassays for the detection of horse dander (HD) antigens and the major allergen Equ c 1 and the commercial assay for Equ c 4. Results were analyzed using multiple linear regression models for hair samples and the Mann Whitney U test for airborne samples.

Results

Horse antigen and allergen levels differed up to four orders of magnitude between individual animals. Despite enormous variability, levels of HD antigen, Equ c 1 and Equ c 4 in hair were significantly related to the breed and gender combined with the castration status of male animals. Curly Horses had significantly higher concentrations of all three tested parameters compared to the majority of the investigated breeds (medians: 11800 μg/g for HD antigen, 2400 μg/g for Equ c 1, and 258 kU/g for Equ c 4). Tinker Horses, Icelandic Horses and Shetland Ponies were associated with approximately 7-fold reduced levels of HD antigen and Equ c 1, and up to 25-fold reduced levels of Equ c 4 compared to Curly Horses. Compared to mares, stallions displayed increased concentrations of HD antigens, Equ c 1 and Equ c 4 by a factor 2.2, 3.5 and 6.7, respectively. No difference was observed between mares and geldings. No differences in airborne allergen concentrations collected with personal nasal filters during grooming were found between Curly and Quarter Horses.

Conclusion

Breed and castration status had a significant influence on the antigen and allergen levels of horse hair. However, these differences were smaller than the wide variability observed among individual horses. Compared to other breeds, Curly Horses were not associated with lower allergen levels in hair and in air samples collected during grooming. Our approach provides no molecular explanation why Curly Horses are considered to be hypoallergenic.

]]>
<![CDATA[Characterization of T cell receptors in a novel murine model of nickel-induced intraoral metal contact allergy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215186d5eed0c4843fa95f

Nickel is a component of several alloy types that are widely used in our environment, including several dental alloy types that cause intraoral metal contact allergy. However, metal-specific immune responses in the oral mucosa have not been elucidated because a suitable animal model has not been established. In this study, we established a novel murine model of nickel-induced intraoral metal contact allergy and aimed to elucidate the immune response in terms of T-cell receptor repertoire and cytokine profiles in inflamed oral mucosa. The intraoral metal contact allergy model was induced by two sensitizations of nickel plus lipopolysaccharide solution into the postauricular skin followed by a single nickel challenge of the buccal mucosa. Cytokine expression profiles and T-cell phenotypes were determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. T cells accumulated in the cervical lymph nodes and inflamed oral mucosa were characterized by analyzing their T-cell receptor α- and β-chain repertoires, and the nucleotide sequences of complementary determining region 3. Significant swelling and pathological features were histologically evident at 1 day after challenge in mice with nickel allergy. At 1 day after the challenge, CD8-positive T cells producing high levels of T helper 1 type cytokines had accumulated in the allergic oral mucosa. At 7 days after the challenge, excessive nickel allergy in the oral mucosa was suppressed by regulatory T cells. Characterization of the T-cell receptor repertoire in nickel allergic mice revealed the presence of natural killer T cells and T cells bearing Trav6-6-Traj57 at 1 day after the challenge. Our murine model of nickel-induced intraoral metal contact allergy showed that natural killer T cells and T cells bearing Trav6-6-Traj57 might be involved in the immune responses of nickel-induced intraoral metal contact allergy.

]]>
<![CDATA[Discriminating severe seasonal allergic rhinitis. Results from a large nation-wide database]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084234d5eed0c484fcc2c0

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a chronic disease affecting a large amount of the population. To optimize treatment and disease management, it is crucial to detect patients suffering from severe forms. Several tools have been used to classify patients according to severity: standardized questionnaires, visual analogue scales (VAS) and cluster analysis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the best method to stratify patients suffering from seasonal AR and to propose cut-offs to identify severe forms of the disease. In a multicenter French study (PollinAir), patients suffering from seasonal AR were assessed by a physician that completed a 17 items questionnaire and answered a self-assessment VAS. Five methods were evaluated to stratify patients according to AR severity: k-means clustering, agglomerative hierarchical clustering, Allergic Rhinitis Physician Score (ARPhyS), total symptoms score (TSS-17), and VAS. Fisher linear, quadratic discriminant analysis, non-parametric kernel density estimation methods were used to evaluate miss-classification of the patients and cross-validation was used to assess the validity of each scale. 28,109 patients were categorized into “mild”, “moderate”, and “severe”, through the 5 different methods. The best discrimination was offered by the ARPhyS scale. With the ARPhyS scale, cut-offs at a score of 8–9 for mild to moderate and of 11–12 for moderate to severe symptoms were found. Score reliability was also acceptable (Cronbach’s α coefficient: 0.626) for the ARPhyS scale, and excellent for the TSS-17 (0.864).

The ARPhyS scale seems the best method to target patients with severe seasonal AR. In the present study, we highlighted optimal discrimination cut-offs. This tool could be implemented in daily practice to identify severe patients that need a specialized intervention.

]]>
<![CDATA[Feature engineering for sentiment analysis in e-health forums]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c099452d5eed0c4842aea35

Introduction

Exploiting information in health-related social media services is of great interest for patients, researchers and medical companies. The challenge is, however, to provide easy, quick and relevant access to the vast amount of information that is available. One step towards facilitating information access to online health data is opinion mining. Even though the classification of patient opinions into positive and negative has been previously tackled, most works make use of machine learning methods and bags of words. Our first contribution is an extensive evaluation of different features, including lexical, syntactic, semantic, network-based, sentiment-based and word embeddings features to represent patient-authored texts for polarity classification. The second contribution of this work is the study of polar facts (i.e. objective information with polar connotations). Traditionally, the presence of polar facts has been neglected and research in polarity classification has been bounded to opinionated texts. We demonstrate the existence and importance of polar facts for the polarity classification of health information.

Material and methods

We annotate a set of more than 3500 posts to online health forums of breast cancer, crohn and different allergies, respectively. Each sentence in a post is manually labeled as “experience”, “fact” or “opinion”, and as “positive”, “negative” and “neutral”. Using this data, we train different machine learning algorithms and compare traditional bags of words representations with word embeddings in combination with lexical, syntactic, semantic, network-based and emotional properties of texts to automatically classify patient-authored contents into positive, negative and neutral. Beside, we experiment with a combination of textual and semantic representations by generating concept embeddings using the UMLS Metathesaurus.

Results

We reach two main results: first, we find that it is possible to predict polarity of patient-authored contents with a very high accuracy (≈ 70 percent) using word embeddings, and that this considerably outperforms more traditional representations like bags of words; and second, when dealing with medical information, negative and positive facts (i.e. objective information) are nearly as frequent as negative and positive opinions and experiences (i.e. subjective information), and their importance for polarity classification is crucial.

]]>
<![CDATA[The use of machine learning to understand the relationship between IgE to specific allergens and asthma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfdb37dd5eed0c4845c9e65

Thomas Platts-Mills and Matthew Perzanowski provide their expert Perspective on a translational study from Custovic and colleagues that identifies pairings of IgE that show value in estimating risk of concurrent asthma.

]]>
<![CDATA[Pregnancy and Delivery in Patients with Mastocytosis Treated at the Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db26ab0ee8fa60bd04cb

Objective

To present current guidelines regarding treatment of mastocytosis in pregnancy on the example of observed patients.

Design

Case control national study.

Setting

Polish Center of the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM).

Population or Sample

23 singleton spontaneous pregnancies in 17 women diagnosed with mastocytosis in years 1999–2014, before becoming pregnant.

Methods

Prospective analysis outcomes of pregnancies and deliveries.

Main Outcome Measures

Survey developed in cooperation with the Spanish Instituto de Estudios de Mastocitosis de Castilla-La Mancha (CLMast), Hospital Virgen del Valle, Toledo, Red Espańola de Mastocitosis (REMA), Spain.

Results

All 23 pregnancies resulted from natural conception. Obstetrical complications recorded in the first trimester included spontaneous miscarriage (5 pregnancies). Four patients delivered preterm, including one delivery due to preeclampsia at 26 weeks which resulted with neonate death due to extreme prematurity. Five women delivered via cesarean: four due to obstetrical indications and one due to mastocytosis, during which no anesthesia related complications were recorded. Of patients delivering vaginally, two received extradural anesthesia, three required oxytocin infusion due to uterine hypotonia. No labor complications were recorded. In one woman with pregnancy-induced hypertension, early puerperium was complicated by the presence of persistent arterial hypertension. One neonate was born with the signs of cutaneous mastocytosis. Another neonate was diagnosed with Patau syndrome. Four women were treated for mastocytosis prior to conception and continued therapy after becoming pregnant. One patient was put on medications in the first trimester due to worsening of her symptoms. Pregnancy exerted only a slight effect on the intensity and frequency of mastocytosis-related symptoms observed. Worsening of the disease-related symptoms was documented in only four patients (23%). None of the patients showed the signs of anaphylaxis, either before becoming pregnant, or during pregnancy and puerperium.

Conclusions

There is no contraindication to pregnancy when mastocystosis-related pathologies are under appropriate medical control.

]]>
<![CDATA[Acid Hydrolysis of Wheat Gluten Induces Formation of New Epitopes but Does Not Enhance Sensitizing Capacity by the Oral Route: A Study in “Gluten Free” Brown Norway Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9fab0ee8fa60ba4fda

Background

Acid hydrolyzed wheat proteins (HWPs) are used in the food and cosmetic industry as emulsifiers. Cases of severe food allergic reactions caused by HWPs have been reported. Recent data suggest that these reactions are caused by HWPs produced by acid hydrolysis.

Objectives

To examine the sensitizing capacity of gluten proteins per se when altered by acid or enzymatic hydrolysis relative to unmodified gluten in rats naïve to gluten.

Methods

High IgE-responder Brown Norway (BN) rats bred on a gluten-free diet were sensitized without the use of adjuvant to three different gluten products (unmodified, acid hydrolyzed and enzymatic hydrolyzed). Rats were sensitized by intraperitoneal (i.p.) immunization three times with 200 µg gluten protein/rat or by oral dosing for 35 days with 0.2, 2 or 20 mg gluten protein/rat/day. Sera were analyzed for specific IgG and IgE and IgG-binding capacity by ELISA. IgE functionality was measured by rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) assay.

Results

Regardless of the route of dosing, all products had sensitizing capacity. When sensitized i.p., all three gluten products induced a strong IgG1 response in all animals. Acid hydrolyzed gluten induced the highest level of specific IgE but with a low functionality. Orally all three gluten products induced specific IgG1 and IgE but with different dose-response relations. Sensitizing rats i.p. or orally with unmodified or enzymatic hydrolyzed gluten induced specific IgG1 responses with similar binding capacity which was different from that of acid hydrolyzed gluten indicating that acid hydrolysis of gluten proteins induces formation of ‘new’ epitopes.

Conclusions

In rats not tolerant to gluten acid hydrolysis of gluten enhances the sensitizing capacity by the i.p. but not by the oral route. In addition, acid hydrolysis induces formation of new epitopes. This is in contrast to the enzymatic hydrolyzed gluten having an epitope pattern similar to unmodified gluten.

]]>
<![CDATA[Asthma and Rhinitis Are Associated with Less Objectively-Measured Moderate and Vigorous Physical Activity, but Similar Sport Participation, in Adolescent German Boys: GINIplus and LISAplus Cohorts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da54ab0ee8fa60b8e806

Introduction

Physical activity (PA) protects against most noncommunicable diseases and has been associated with decreased risk of allergic phenotype, which is increasing worldwide. However, the association is not always present; furthermore it is not clear whether it is strongest for asthma, rhinitis, symptoms of these, or atopic sensitization; which sex is most affected; or whether it can be explained by either avoidance of sport or exacerbation of symptoms by exercise. Interventions are thus difficult to target.

Methods

PA was measured by one-week accelerometry in 1137 Germans (mean age 15.6 years, 47% boys) from the GINIplus and LISAplus birth cohorts, and modeled as a correlate of allergic symptoms, sensitization, or reported doctor-diagnosed asthma or rhinitis.

Results

8.3% of children had asthma, of the remainder 7.9% had rhinitis, and of the remainder 32% were sensitized to aero-allergens (atopic). 52% were lung-healthy controls. Lung-healthy boys and girls averaged 46.4 min and 37.8 min moderate-to-vigorous PA per day, of which 14.6 and 11.4 min was vigorous. PA in allergic girls was not altered, but boys with asthma got 13% less moderate and 29% less vigorous PA, and those with rhinitis with 13% less moderate PA, than lung-healthy boys. Both sexes participated comparably in sport (70 to 84%). Adolescents with wheezing (up to 68%, in asthma) and/or nose/eye symptoms (up to 88%, in rhinitis) were no less active.

Conclusions

We found that asthma and rhinitis, but not atopy, were independently associated with low PA in boys, but not in girls. These results indicate that allergic boys remain a high-risk group for physical inactivity even if they participate comparably in sport. Research into the link between PA and allergy should consider population-specific and sex-specific effects, and clinicians, parents, and designers of PA interventions should specifically address PA in allergic boys to ensure full participation.

]]>