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

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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.


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.


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.


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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