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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 97

of 'Anaphylaxis: Emergency treatment'

Anaphylaxis: risk factors for recurrence.
Mullins RJ
Clin Exp Allergy. 2003;33(8):1033.
BACKGROUND: There are few studies on the incidence or recurrence of anaphylaxis.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the incidence of anaphylaxis and risk factors for recurrence.
METHODS: A prospective study of 432 patients referred to a community-based specialist practice in the Australian Capital Territory with anaphylaxis, followed by a survey to obtain information on recurrence.
RESULTS: Of 432 patients (48% male, 73% atopic, mean 27.4 years, SD 19.5, median 26) with anaphylaxis, 260 patients were seen after their first episode; 172 experienced 584 previous reactions. fifty-four percent of index episodes were treated in hospital. Aetiology was identified in 91.6% patients: food (61%), stinging insects (20.4%) or medication (8.3%). The minimum occurrence and incidence of new cases of anaphylaxis was estimated at 12.6 and 9.9 episodes/100,000 patient-years, respectively. Follow-up data were obtained from 304 patients (674 patient-years). One hundred and thirty experiencedfurther symptoms (45 serious), 35 required hospitalization and 19 administered adrenaline. Accidental ingestion of peanut/tree nut caused the largest number of relapses, but the highest risk of recurrence was associated with sensitivity to wheat and/or exercise. Rates of overall and serious recurrence were 57 and 10 episodes/100 patient-years, respectively. Of those prescribed adrenaline, 3/4 carried it, 2/3 were in date, and only 1/2 patients faced with serious symptoms administered adrenaline. Five patients each developed new triggers for anaphylaxis, or re-presented with significant psychiatric symptoms.
CONCLUSION: In any 1 year, 1/12 patients who have suffered anaphylaxis will experience recurrence, and 1/50 will require hospital treatment or use adrenaline. Compliance with carrying and using adrenaline is poor. Occasional patients develop new triggers or suffer psychiatric morbidity.
University of Canberra (Associate Professor), Canberra, University of Sydney (Senior Lecturer), Sydney, Australian National University (Clinical Senior Lecturer), Canberra, Australia. rmullins@allergycapital.com.au