HEALTH

Study suggests obesity may cause allergies in children

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON A new study released by the National Institutes of Health Monday indicates there may be yet another reason to reduce childhood obesity — it may help prevent allergies.

The study published in the May issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that obese children and adolescents are at increased risk of having some kind of allergy, especially to a food.

“We found a positive association between obesity and allergies,” stated Darryl Zeldin, acting clinical director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and senior author on the paper.

The researchers analyzed data on children and young adults ages 2 to19 from a new national dataset designed to obtain information about allergies and asthma.

“While the results from this study are interesting, they do not prove that obesity causes allergies. More research is needed to further investigate this potential link,” Zeldin said.

“The signal for allergies seemed to be coming mostly from food allergies,” commented NIEHS researcher Stephanie London, a co-author on the study. “The rate of having a food allergy was 59% higher for obese children.”

“As childhood obesity rates rise, NIEHS will continue to work to determine how environmental factors affect this epidemic,” added Linda Birnbaum, NIEHS director. “Seeing a possible link between obesity and allergies provides additional motivation for undertaking the challenge of reducing childhood obesity.”

The study was funded by NIEHS and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, both parts of the National Institutes of Health.

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MannKind has dip in profit, flat sales

BY Alaric DeArment

VALENCIA, Calif. A drug company focused on developing drugs for diabetes and cancer reported a reduction in operating, research and development and general and administrative expenses of more than $32 million in its first quarter 2009 financial results Monday.

MannKind Corp. said the decrease in research and development expenses, by $15.6 million, was primarily due to decreased costs associated with the clinical development of the fast-acting insulin Afresa.

Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were $30.2 million as of March 31, compared with $46.5 million on Dec. 31 and $269.1 million on March 31, 2008.

“This past quarter was extremely busy for MannKind, culminating in our submission to the FDA of a new drug application for Afresa.” chairman and CEO Alfred Mann said in a statement. “With this milestone accomplished, we are now turning our attention to commercial readiness activities.”

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Vagisil launches new feminine hygiene product

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. As a brand leader in the feminine hygiene product market, Combe on Monday announced the introduction of Vagisil Satin — a fast-absorbing creme that provides quick and long-lasting relief from itch and irritation as it soothes and helps heal the skin.

“Whether at work, home or on the go, external vaginal discomfort not only causes physical stress, but also puts a damper on a woman’s mood and confidence level,” stated Adelaide Nardone, board certified OB/GYN.

According to the Journal of Urgent Care, vulvovaginitis is the cause of approximately 10 million office visits in the United States annually. Vulvovaginitis can be characterized by symptoms of itching, irritation, burning, redness, discharge and discomfort.

“These uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms affect women of all ages and are common gynecological concerns,” commented Jeanne Collins, Combe senior brand manager of marketing, feminine hygiene. “We are thrilled about the launch of Vagisil Satin as we continually strive to meet the needs of women by offering them a solution that immediately helps them feel more comfortable.”

Vagisil Satin contains 1% hydrocortisone acetate and provides 12 hours of relief from itch, discomfort and distraction.

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