Bangalore ranks second in the list of cities with highest air pollution levels in India

As per the survey conducted by Breathe Blue’15, the Garden City has 14% of school-going children suffering because of air pollution.

Bangalore has ranked second in the list of most polluted cities in India as far as air pollution is concerned, as per a survey. The Garden City has 14% of school-going children suffering because of air pollution. While New Delhi is at the first position at 21%, Mumbai is in the third place at 13% and Kolkata is in the fourth place with 9% of school-going children suffering due to air pollution.

While the lung health screening test (LHST) results were ‘poor’ for 14% of the students, 22% were detected to be in the ‘bad’ category. According to the survey released by Breathe Blue’15, about 35% students in the entire country fared ‘badly’ in the LHST, indicating poor air quality across India. The lung health of around 2,000 students aged between 8 and 12 years was screened for this purpose.

Speaking with iamin, Dr Komarla Nagendra Prasad, senior allergist and immunologist said, “The LHST confirms how much air the lungs can hold and how quickly one can inhale and exhale. The LHST can detect lung diseases and measure the severity of lung problems.’’

The survey found that the worst-affected children are those who commute in open air vehicles as they more exposed to dust particles in the air. In Delhi alone, about 92% of children using open-air transport fared poor as against 8% of those who did not. 86% of school children use open-air transport and only 14% use other mediums of transport in Bangalore.

Dr Vaman Acharya, chairman, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board said that reckless cutting of trees, rapid urbanization and above all, a dearth of environment-friendly laws are responsible for the rising levels of air pollution in the city.

Continue reading

Sublingual swallow immunotherapy

Allergen Specific Immunotherapy (ASI) in the form of subcutaneous route (SCIT) used over a century and is currently under used for management of IgE mediated allergy disorders. SCIT Meta analysis showed very promising results and sustained effect for a long period from 7 years to 12 years on stopping the therapy. The adverse events are not common and application for day to day practice currently restricted among trained physicians. Allergy prone subjects adherence to SCIT is very less and drop outs are more either due to invasive injections, the long term dosage, cumbersome to wait at the clinic after the injection or due to local and systemic reactions. Alternate route suggested by WAO, ARIA and EAACI is Sublingual (SLIT) for better compliance and to increase the adherence of the therapy. SLIT Meta analysis showed its efficacy is equivalent to SCIT with mild to moderate tolerable adverse events without discontinuation of dosage schedules.SLIT becomes successful in the hands of trained physicians who initiate the effective dose for effective response which is crucial. The quality of standardised allergen extracts and the appropriate dose is to generate clinical response is very important. Selection of allergens for therapy by taking care of proteolysis which degrade in combination of heterogeneous allergens and time of administration is very critical. SLIT is friendly with children less than 6 years, SCIT restricted below 6 years. SLIT in the form of drops, tablets and Stripe is currently used and SLIT kept below the tongue before food for 2 to 5 minutes and swallow. The prescribed tailor made dosage consumed on daily basis at a regular time shows better results. At present the SLIT is a personal Medicine. SLIT is popular among European countries and US FDA is in the process of evaluation of clinical trials.

Protecting Food Allergic Consumers and Celiac Patients in India Requires Improvements in Diagnostic Accuracy, Patient Education, Food Handling and Labeling Practices

Individual countries are responsible for the safety of food consumed by their people. However, as food production and consumption patterns become more global, countries are working together through organizations such as the CODEX Alimentarius Commission and OECD to provide food safety guidelines that should enable expanding trade, with some level of safety assured. Laws and mechanisms of regulation differ in each country and it is important to harmonize across countries to protect all at-risk consumers.

Food allergy and celiac disease (CD) are often hard to accurately diagnose. Relatively few consumers are affected, but a few are at risk of severe life-threatening reactions that are acute (IgE mediated allergy) or chronic (CD). There are complex genetic factors that increase the likelihood of sensitivity, but also many complex environmental factors have great influence in controlling sensitization or tolerance, but they are not proven or highly predictive. Diet, vitamin intake, exposure and development airway allergy (pollen, molds and arthropods), intestinal microbiota, parasite exposure and various viral or bacterial infections are likely modulatory agents. Specific proteins in allergenic foods and CD (grains) are not equal in sensitizing or eliciting properties. However, it is extremely difficult (because of relatively low prevalence and lack of standardized diagnostic procedures) to obtain accurate prevalence data for specific allergens or CD for specific grains. Data from various studies of North America (US and Canada), various European (EU) countries (primarily Western Europe), Japan and Australia show likely prevalence of COMMON food allergens.

Continue reading