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Mouse allergen skin sensitization in asthmatic children of suburban, rural, and inner-city populations

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Mouse allergen (MA) exposure is a well-known risk factor for allergic sensitization and is implicated in the pathogenesis of pediatric asthma. Although previous studies report high prevalence of MA sensitization in inner-city asthmatic children, no data exist on its comparison with either suburban or rural children with asthma. We did a retrospective cohort study by chart review of all children (≤18 years of age) who underwent allergy testing during a 6-month period in a tertiary care referral center. Patients were divided geographically into suburban, rural, and inner-city groups based on their zip codes. MA was tested using the standard allergy test panel by skin prick/puncture. Positive skin test reactivity was defined as wheal diameter ≥3 mm and erythema ≥5 mm. A total of 989 patients underwent allergy testing and 349 children were tested for MA with the overall positivity rate of 18.6% (65/349). In children with asthma (mean age, 12.8 years; SD ± 3.19) who had MA testing (n = 166), the rate of positive skin test reactivity was 18% (n = 30). Inner-city asthmatic children had significantly greater MA sensitization compared with either suburban or rural children. MA sensitization is highly prevalent among children with asthma, especially in inner-city populations but also among suburban and rural children. Although most allergists do not routinely test for MA sensitization during the initial evaluation, it may be useful to include it in the allergy testing for children with asthma.
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Keywords: Asthma; children; inner city; mouse allergen; rural; sensitization; skin test

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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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