Volume 49, Issue 3 (May 2004)
Sudden Death Associated with Food and Exercise
Exercised-induced anaphylaxis occurs in conjunction with significant physical exertion. Anaphylaxis occurring when an individual exercises within a few hours of ingesting a particular food is an unusual variant. Cardiovascular symptoms can be the sole manifestation of exerciseinduced food allergies, in which case death may mimic sudden cardiac death during physical exertion due to other pathologic causes. We report the sudden and unexpected death of an individual following the ingestion of hazelnuts and almonds, to which the individual was not previously known to be allergic. The decedent collapsed during vigorous dancing. The death was not associated with cutaneous or laryngeal manifestations of anaphylaxis. Awareness of the variable manifestations of food-precipitated anaphylaxis is necessary to correctly establish the diagnosis. An elevated serum tryptase level may be indicative of an allergic reaction, and allergen-specific IgE levels may be used to confirm the particular antigen.