According to a new study carried out in Lund University and Skåne University Hospital in Sweden, children with allergies have a lower risk of developing complicated appendicitis. According to sciencedaily.com, the findings, published in the JAMA Pediatrics, could pave the way for new diagnostic tools in the future.
The study included all children under the age of 15 who underwent surgery for appendicitis at Skåne University Hospital between 2007 and 2017. About 605 children were part of the study.
The researchers compared the outcomes of the study in children with what was known as IgE-mediated allergy (102 children) with those for children without this allergy (503 children).
About 19.6 per cent of the children with IgE-mediated allergy contracted more complicated appendicitis while 46.9 per cent o children in the group with no IgE-mediated allergy were affected.
One of the researchers, Martin Salö, said, “In a study of all the children who underwent surgery for appendicitis in Lund, Sweden, over the span of a decade, we found that the most common form of allergy, such as allergy to pollen and animal fur, was associated with a three times lower risk of developing complicated appendicitis.
“The lower risk remained when we adjusted for other parameters known to increase the risk of serious appendicitis, such as lower age and long-lasting symptoms.”
The researchers noted that appendicitis was not only widespread among children and young people, but it was also the most common cause of emergency abdominal surgery in the world.
They stressed that one-third of affected children had a more complicated form of appendicitis, which required them to spend a longer time in a hospital than necessary and to undergo several surgeries.
However, the researchers failed to explain why some children were affected by this more serious form of appendicitis or state whether it was possible to prevent it.
Salö said, “The outcome of the study supports the theory that complicated appendicitis has a different immunological development compared to uncomplicated appendicitis. The results also provide clues that we hope can lead to the development of new diagnostic aids, such as blood tests.”