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Epidemiology of IgE-dependent allergic diseases in elderly patients in Poland

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Background:

There is a growing allergy problem in elderly patients. The epidemiology of atopic bronchial asthma (BA), allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis (AD) was analyzed in an elderly Polish population.

Methods:

Subject recruitment was conducted at 16 sites representative of Polish rural and urban areas, and 7124 subjects, including 4176 women with a mean age of 67.5 ± 84.9 years and 2948 men with a mean age of 66.1 ± 7.2 years, were screened. Medical examinations, an original questionnaire, skin-prick testing (SPT) with common aeroallergens, and appropriate serum-specific IgE assays were performed.

Results:

Suspicion of atopy was diagnosed in 1900 of the 7124 analyzed patients (26.7%), including 1117 women (26.7% of women) and 783 men (26.6% of men). The average morbidity associated with age and sex in this population was 5.9% (95% CI, 5.1‐6.4) for BA, 1.6% (95% CI, 15.9‐19.3) for AD/eczema, 12.6% (95% CI, 10.8‐14.6) for seasonal allergic rhinitis, 17.1% (95% CI, 15.9‐19.7) for perennial allergic rhinitis, and 6.4% (95% CI, 5.1‐7.3) for polymorphous atopic disease. The most frequent positive results were recorded for the following allergens: mixed grass, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, and Alternaria.

Conclusion:

This study confirms the high prevalence of allergic rhinitis and BA in elderly Polish patients. These findings are comparable with those involving groups of younger individuals with allergies.
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Keywords: Allergy; IgE; asthma; atopic dermatitis; elderly; epidemiology; rhinitis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Clinical Department of Internal Medicine, Dermatology and Allergology in Zabrze, Medical University School of Silesia, Katowice, Poland

Publication date: 2013-09-01

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