A total of 248 patients with systemic reactions to Hymenoptera envenomation were studied. There were 138 adults and 110 children. Twenty-eight of these 248 (11.3%) had family members with histories consistent with Hymenoptera anaphylaxis. These included five mothers and sons, two sister pairs, three pairs of sister-brother, one pair brother-brother, and one pair father-daughter. In one extended family, a father, mother, son, and mother's sister had Hymenoptera sensitivity. Ninety-six consecutive allergic patients without Hymenoptera sensitivity served as controls, and of these, 3.1% had family members with Hymenoptera sensitivity. The occurrence of Hymenoptera sensitivity in families of patients with Hymenoptera sensitivity is statistically different from our controls (11.3% vs 3.1%, p = 0.0195). There appears to be a hereditary aspect for Hymenoptera sting sensitivity.
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