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Indoor allergen sensitization and the risk of asthma and eczema in children in Pittsburgh

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Several studies have shown that sensitization to cockroach and mouse allergens is correlated with presence and severity of asthma, especially among children living in inner cities. This study evaluated the prevalence of positive skin testing to indoor allergens in the Pittsburgh area and the association with asthma and eczema. A retrospective analysis was performed of 540 children from the Pittsburgh area who underwent skin testing to indoor allergens. Presence of asthma and eczema were determined by parent and/or physician report. Asthma and eczema are not significantly more frequent among children who had positive skin testing to cockroaches or mice. However, asthma was more common among children who had positive skin testing to dogs (odds ratio [OR], 1.4; 95% CI, 1.23‐1.65), cats (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.21‐1.58), and dust mites (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.03‐1.37). Eczema was more common in children who had positive skin testing to cats (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.14‐2.02). Both asthma (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.18‐1.58) and eczema (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.07‐1.92) were more prevalent among children with any positive skin test. We did not find that sensitization to cockroaches or mice was correlated with the diagnosis or asthma or eczema in the Pittsburgh area. However, sensitization to any allergen, and to cats and/or dogs specifically, was associated with diagnosis of both asthma and eczema. Our result suggests that allergic sensitization is associated with these diseases, but the implicated allergens may vary.
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Keywords: Allergy; asthma; atopy; cat; cockroach; dog; eczema; mouse; sensitization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: 2011-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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