Document Detail

Incidence of anaphylaxis with circulatory symptoms: a study over a 3-year period comprising 940,000 inhabitants of the Swiss Canton Bern.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14987309     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of anaphylaxis is clinically based and usually straightforward. However, data on the epidemiology of anaphylaxis, particularly the most profound and life-threatening form such as anaphylactic shock are limited and thought to be under-reported. OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and the causes of severe anaphylaxis with circulatory signs in the Canton Bern, which comprises about 940 000 inhabitants or approximately one-seventh of the population of Switzerland. METHODS: During a 3-year period, 1 January 1996 to 31 December 1998, all medical records (7739 documents) from the two allergy clinics of the Canton Bern have been reviewed. In addition, all seven board-certified specialists of the Foederatio Medicorum Helveticorum (FMH) in Allergology and Clinical Immunology of this Canton as well as all 17 hospitals with emergency units of this area have been contacted for cases with an anaphylactic event not referred to the allergy clinics. RESULTS: Overall, 226 individuals, 106 females (47%) with a mean age of 41 years (range, 5-74 years) and 120 males (53%) with a mean age of 38 years (8 months-83 years) were diagnosed as having presented generalized, life-threatening anaphylaxis with circulatory symptoms. Altogether, these patients experienced 246 episodes of severe systemic reactions. In addition, death due to anaphylaxis occurred in three subjects. The annual incidence of anaphylaxis per 100 000 inhabitants per year ranged between 7.9 and 9.6 cases. Hymenoptera stings (58.8%), drugs (18.1%), and foods (10.1%) were the most commonly identified culprits for anaphylaxis. In 5.3% of all anaphylactic events, the cause could not be identified. CONCLUSION: The incidence rate of severe life-threatening anaphylaxis with circulatory signs in the Canton Bern, Switzerland, with 7.9-9.6 per 100 000 inhabitants per year is comparable to the findings of other epidemiological investigations. In most events, a causal agent or allergen could be identified by a careful allergological examination.
A Helbling; T Hurni; U R Mueller; W J Pichler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology     Volume:  34     ISSN:  0954-7894     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Exp. Allergy     Publication Date:  2004 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-02-27     Completed Date:  2004-05-28     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8906443     Medline TA:  Clin Exp Allergy     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  285-90     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Allergology, Department of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergology, University Hospital Bern, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Anaphylaxis / epidemiology*,  etiology,  immunology
Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*,  etiology,  immunology
Child, Preschool
Drug Hypersensitivity / complications
Food Hypersensitivity / complications
Insect Bites and Stings / complications
Middle Aged
Switzerland / epidemiology

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