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November 14, 1959

Conquering Your Allergy

JAMA. 1959;171(11):1623. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010290181037

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While this book for the layman has some factual material of value to the allergic person, this basic information is lost in a maze of unorthodox beliefs, inaccuracies, unnecessarily lengthy anecdotes, and recurring boasts. Among the misconceptions are the inclusion among allergic manifestations of Horton's syndrome, Ménière's disease, and "emotional reaction to rainy days, rock n' roll music, or a visit from your mother-in-law," while making no mention of the allergic aspects of blood diseases (thrombocytopenia and acquired hemolytic anemia) or other possibilities of autosensitization. One must disagree with the author's belief that allergic shock from an injection of almost any medication can be forecast by a prior skin test, that no one but a dermatologist or roentgenologist should use x-rays, that the case fatality rate from anaphylactic shock caused by penicillin is as high as he implies (from his statement one can compute that there would be about 500,000

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