Achoo! Allergies Shown To Lower The Risk Of Brain Cancer


You may be uncomfortable, but your allergies are protecting your brain: image via all-allergies.comYou may be uncomfortable, but your allergies are protecting your brain: image via It's nice to read that allergies are actually beneficial to allergy sufferers in some way.  According to a  study reported in this month's issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the more allergies you have, the less likely you are to get brain cancer!

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Duke University Medical Center (and other divisions of Duke University), and the North Shore University Health System investigated the association by analyzing types, number, years since diagnosis, and age at diagnosis of allergies, and information on antihistamine usage, including type, duration, and frequency of exposure. The information was collected through self-reporting on 419 glioma cases and 612 hospital-based controls. 

The results showed that the number of types of allergies reported was inversely associated with glioma risk; the more kinds of allergies, the better the protection against glioma.  Antihistamine use in association with allergies was also found to be inversely associated with glioma, but antihistamine use that was not used to control the effects of allergies had no particular risk effect on glioma.  Interestingly, age at diagnosis and years since diagnosis had no association with glioma risk.

Several earlier studies have looked at the apparent protection allergies provide to the brain. In an earlier study, however, antihistamine use actually increased a person's risk of glioma. 

Though the verdict is still out on antihistamine use and risk of brain cancer, at least there is consistency in the protective value of allergies against something - glioma, the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer.

I'll sneeze to that!

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, CNN, via USNews