Allergic to Insect Stings: Allergy Shots Decrease Anxiety and Depression

Released: 10/30/2013 2:00 PM EDT
Embargo expired: 11/8/2013 12:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)
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Citations Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)

Newswise — Stinging insects are everywhere making them nearly inescapable. The thought of being stung can cause depression and anxiety for the two million Americans that are allergic to their venom. But according to a study being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore, Nov. 7-11, allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, can improve quality of life for these sufferers. Allergy shots are the only allergy treatment known to modify and prevent disease progression, and can be life-saving for those allergic to insect stings. Researchers have found this type of treatment also decreases anxiety and depression in those allergic to wasp, bee and ant stings.

Title: Anxiety and Depression in Hymenoptera Venom Allergy Patients

Author: Timothy Craig, MD, allergist and ACAAI fellow

By the Numbers: Insect stings send more than 500,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms and cause at least 50 known deaths each year. A person who has had an allergic reaction to insect sting has a 60 percent chance of having another similar or worse reaction if stung again. Immunotherapy has been shown to be an astonishing 97 percent effective in preventing future allergy to insect stings.

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