NEW YORK, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) today announced its endorsement of comprehensive food allergy guidelines, released by an Expert Panel sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). FAI, the largest private source of funding for food allergy research in the U.S., will underwrite the publication of the long-awaited Guidelines as a special supplement to the December 2010 issue of the prestigious Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The Guidelines are currently available online.
By providing standardized diagnosis and treatment recommendations, the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States: Report of the NIAID-sponsored Expert Panel were designed to help healthcare professionals from many disciplines provide the best care possible for food-allergic patients across America. The Guidelines are based on an independent, systematic review of the scientific and clinical food allergy literature by the nation's foremost authorities on the subject. FAI was one of 34 professional organizations, federal agencies, and patient advocacy groups represented on a Coordinating Committee, whose role was to oversee the development and distribution of the final document.
"The Food Allergy Initiative is proud to underwrite the publication of this landmark document, which will be distributed to thousands of healthcare professionals nationwide," said Mary Jane Marchisotto, Executive Director of FAI, who also served on the Coordinating Committee. "Food allergy is a major national health concern, particularly among children. Almost a quarter of all emergency room visits now involve children under age five, and in a national survey, elementary school nurses identified food allergy as a larger problem than diabetes. We hope these guidelines will become the standard of care for all medical professionals who treat food allergy, enabling us to save lives as well as much-needed costs in our healthcare system."
Noting that the Guidelines also identify gaps in existing scientific knowledge about food allergy, Marchisotto said, "Based on the results of promising clinical trials, scientists believe that a cure for food allergies is within reach. In addition to sponsoring outstanding research worldwide, FAI has been instrumental in increasing federal funding for food allergy research from approximately $4 million in 2004 to nearly $27 million today. This increase, along with the development of the Guidelines, underscores the federal government's commitment to solving the problem of life-threatening food allergies. However, more research is urgently needed to answer key questions, develop better treatments, and, ultimately, to find a cure. To this end, the Guidelines will be a critical tool as FAI partners with researchers, government officials, private industry and advocates to chart a Final Roadmap to a Cure."
About the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI):
The Food Allergy Initiative is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that funds research seeking a cure for food allergies. FAI was founded in 1998 by concerned parents and grandparents to support basic and clinical research worldwide; public policies to increase federal funding for research and create safer environments for those afflicted; and educational programs to make the hospitality industry, schools, day care centers, and camps safer. The largest private source of funding for food allergy research in the United States, FAI has committed nearly $70 million toward the fulfillment of its mission. For more information, visit www.faiusa.org, call 212-207-1974, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Food Allergies:
Food allergies are on the rise in all developed countries. There are no medications to cure or control food allergies. A strict diet and avoidance of the allergenic food is the only way to avoid a reaction, yet the most common allergens – peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy – are staples of the food supply and virtually impossible to avoid completely. Accidental exposure to even a minuscule amount of the offending food can cause an allergic individual to experience anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction, which can cause throat swelling, a dramatic drop in blood pressure, vomiting and even death within a matter of minutes. Although researchers estimate that food allergies cause approximately 125,000 emergency room visits each year, they do not yet understand why the prevalence of food allergies appears to be on the rise, particularly among children.
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SOURCE Food Allergy Initiative (FAI)