A dose-response relevance was observed between levels of allergen-specific IgE and allergic disease (AD) prevalence, with multiple sensitizations increasing the risk for allergic diseases, according to a study published in BMC Open.

Yupeng Wang, PhD, and colleagues conducted a case-control study to assess the associations of sensitization to common allergens with AD, allergic rhinitis, and allergic asthma in 5,111 adults with physician-diagnosed AD (N=2,631), allergic asthma (N=1,320) and allergic rhinitis (N=1,160) recruited from a hospital’s department of allergy from March 2009 to December 2017. Controls were 2,576 healthy adults who underwent physical examination at the same hospital during the same period. Specific IgE levels to 16 common food, indoor, and outdoor allergens were assessed in all participants. Adjusted ORs and 95% CIs for the association between allergen sensitization and allergic diseases were estimated using multivariate logistic regression.

Food Allergen Sensitization Linked With AD

“We assessed the associations between sensitization to 16 allergens and three common allergic diseases and explored if there is a dose–response connection between the specific IgE levels to an allergen and of allergic diseases’ prevalence,” Dr. Wang wrote. “We also examined the combined effects of multiple allergens on a specific allergic disease.”

The prevalence of allergen sensitization was higher in patients with AD (indoor, 17.14%; outdoor, 12.85%; food, 21.44%), allergic rhinitis (indoor, 23.18%; outdoor, 26.81%; food, 8.94%) and allergic asthma (indoor, 24.65%; outdoor, 16.46%; food, 14.31%) compared with controls (indoor, 11.03%; outdoor, 6.84%; food, 5.83%).

After adjustment for potential confounding variables, there was a dose-response relevance between the levels of allergen-specific IgE and allergic diseases. The number of allergens to which a patient was sensitized increased the risk of allergic diseases, including AD (highest adjusted OR, 4.28; 95% CI, 2.57-7.11), allergic rhinitis (highest adjusted OR, 13.00; 95% CI, 3.76-45.00), and allergic asthma (OR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.67-3.37).

“We found that food allergen sensitization is associated with AD, while indoor and outdoor allergen sensitizations are related to allergic rhinitis and asthma,” wrote Dr. Wang and colleagues. “Our findings could provide evidence for the control and management of allergic diseases and may have important public health implications.”