SAN ANTONIO — Individuals with a moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease and a hypersensitive reaction to aspirin often are mistakenly categorized as allergic, according to data presented at the 2015 American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting.
“Our research shows that none of the patients that were determined to have aspirin hypersensitivity were referred to an allergist for testing to determine if they had a true allergy,” Gabriela M. Orgeron, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins, told Healio.com/Allergy. “Furthermore, many patients get mistakenly categorized as allergic when they don’t have a true aspirin hypersensitivity, which deprives them from getting this medication in the future.”
Orgeron and colleagues conducted a retrospective electronic medical record review of 5,052 patients (age range, 30 to 90 years) in the outpatient cardiology practice at Johns Hopkins from January 2012 to December 2013 to assess various reactions of aspirin hypersensitivity and offer ideas of how to manage it.
The data the researchers collected included documented aspirin hypersensitivity, type of reaction, and management offered by the physician.
Researchers reported aspirin hypersensitivity in 131 patients (2.5%), about three-quarters of whom were female.
Twenty-six patients (19%) reported a skin reaction, four (3%) reported angioedema, one patient (0.7%) reported anaphylaxis and one patient (0.7%) reported respiratory symptoms.
The researchers noted that 45 patients (34.3%) were classified as having aspirin sensitivity if they had any history of gastrointestinal symptoms.
Fifty-two cases (39%) had no documentation of the type of reaction to aspirin.
The results show “patients are frequently managed by discontinuing aspirin or are switched to another agent” when data do not support doing so, the researchers wrote.
“Aspirin is a highly cost-effective therapy. It is considered to be key in the management and prevention of patients with moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease,” Orgeron told Healio.com/Allergy. “Allergists can help identify true allergies, and if they are present, help patients find the right course of therapy. If there is not a true allergy, they can help explore how to manage symptoms.” – by Ryan McDonald
Orgeron GM, et al. Poster 8. Presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting; Nov. 5-9; San Antonio.
Disclosure: Orgeron reports no relevant financial disclosures.