UPPSALA, Sweden, May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Phadia, the worldwide leader of in vitro allergy diagnostics, is pleased to contribute to the largest cross-sectional allergy study ever conducted through the use of its ImmunoCAP(R) Specific IgE blood test, the market leading in vitro allergy diagnostic test.

The landmark study by Quest Diagnostics, the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information, and services, includes test results from over 2 million patients. The Health Trends Report(TM) confirms the "allergy march" in which early childhood food allergies heighten the risk for development of additional and more severe allergy-related conditions, including asthma, later in life. In addition, the report shows that patients with asthma are 20% more likely to have an allergic component to their condition. This confirms that allergy testing and exposure reduction to a patient's specific allergic triggers are critically important steps to take for patients with asthma.

The study found that about half of patients tested (5 in 9) did not show sensitization to at least one of 11 common allergens evaluated. While the investigators hypothesize that some of these patients had an allergy to an allergen not evaluated in the study, they also theorize that a large number may have presented to their physician with allergy-like symptoms caused by a non-allergy medical condition. The importance of identifying and ruling out an allergy is important in order to improve quality of life for many patients.

David Esposito, President and General Manager of Phadia US, says, "We commend Quest Diagnostics on their leadership role in spotlighting the impact of allergies in our nation. This data enables us to work together to support health care reform initiatives that call for better patient care at reduced costs. With full knowledge of their allergies and armed with an allergy or asthma action plan, patients can reduce unscheduled doctors' office and emergency room visits, lessen the need for medications including costly inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta agonist combination medications, and minimize sick days that cause missed school or work. Our hope is that this data is used by payers and policy makers to support and embrace the NIH Guidelines that recommend allergy testing for all patients with persistent asthma."

The study was based on 14 million de-identified test results. Each test result identified sensitization to one or more of 11 common allergens: five foods (egg white, milk, peanut, soybean and wheat), common ragweed, mold and two types of house dust mites as well as cats and dogs.

Phadia will utilize data from the Quest Health Trends Report to expand and extend the use of the ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test to support a guidelines-based approach to diagnosing and managing allergic diseases. Phadia and Quest Diagnostics have partnered to improve the diagnosis and assessment of allergic disease for over two decades.

The full Allergies Across America Health Trends Report by Quest Diagnostics was recently released. For more information please visit: http://www.questdiagnostic.com