Whereas individuals may not enjoy having asthma or hay fever, having these conditions may reduce the overall risk of dying from cancer, compared with individuals with neither of these allergic conditions. The results of the study were based on data from the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II.
The researchers found that participants with histories of both asthma and hay fever were 12% less apt to die from cancer. The patients with hay fever alone lowered their chances by 8%, and in patients with asthma and/or hay fever the risk was reduced by 6%. The study indicated a lower risk of death from leukemia but a higher risk of death from lung cancer in patients with a history of asthma. A history of hay fever only was associated with a dramatically lower risk of pancreatic cancer death. (The findings were reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, August 2005.)