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Patients with Allergic Rhinitis May Have Lower Risk for Heart Attacks

SAN DIEGO, CA – Research looking into the relationship between heart disease and allergic rhinitis has uncovered a potential correlation. A study presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) found that patients with allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, may have a lower risk for heart attacks.

In addition to heart attacks, the study also found that those with allergic rhinitis were also at lower risks for cerebrovascular disease and all-cause mortality.

“Other research in the field has studied the relationship between asthma and heart disease, finding that patients with asthma have increased cardiovascular events. Yet the relationship between allergic rhinitis and heart disease is mostly unknown, which is why we wanted to learn more,”
said first author Angelina M. Crans Yoon, MD, of Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

Dr. Crans Yoon and colleagues at Kaiser Permanente used a large database of patients in the Southern California region to find a group of 109,229 allergic rhinitis patients and 92,775 asthma patients. Each patient was matched by sex, age and ethnicity to a control patient who did not have
either of these conditions.

The researchers then used statistical analysis to compare rates of heart disease; cerebrovascular disease, which are conditions that affect blood flow to the brain; and all-cause mortality, or the annual number of deaths in a given age group. Rates of incidence were compared from the beginning of calendar year 1995 to the end of 2012.

The asthma patients were found to have a higher risk of heart disease, although they had no significantly increased risk of cerebrovascular disease or all-cause mortality.
In contrast, the group of patients with allergic rhinitis had significantly lower risks for heart attacks, cerebrovascular disease and all-cause mortality. The overall risk of all forms of heart disease in the allergic rhinitis patients was equal to the control group though.

“More research is needed but considering the lower risk of heart attacks found in the allergic rhinitis patients, it suggests that the genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases may not be contributing to the increased risk of heart disease observed in the asthma patients,” explained Dr. Crans Yoon.

More information on allergic rhinitis and asthma is available from the AAAAI website.

The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,700 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries.


Editor's notes:
•This study was presented during the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) on February 28-March 4 in San Diego. However, they do not necessarily reflect the policies or the opinions of the AAAAI.
•A link to all abstracts presented at the Annual Meeting is available at
Megan Brown
(414) 272-6071 (AAAAI executive office)
(619) 525-6238 (AAAAI Annual Meeting press room, San Diego Convention Center, February 28-March 4) 



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