Specific sensitization to common allergens and pulmonary function in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey

A Jaen, J Sunyer, X Basagana, S Chinn, J P Zock, J M Anto, P Burney, ECRHS

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Background The role of atopy in the evolution to chronic obstructive disease remains controversial. Aim We aimed to assess the association between individual sensitization to common allergens and lung function. Method We analysed data from 12 687 subjects aged 20 to 44 years, from 34 centres in 15 countries participating in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS). Participants performed a blood test, lung function test, methacholine challenge, and answered an administered questionnaire. The relationships between specific IgE, FEV1 and FEV1 /FVC ratio were assessed for each study centre stratified by sex, followed by random effects meta-analysis. Results Asthmatics sensitized to house dust mite had a lower FEV1 (- 119 mL in women and - 112 mL in men) and FEV1 /FVC ratio (- 1.95%, and - 2.48%) than asthmatics without sensitization. Asthmatics sensitized to cat had a lower FEV1 (statistically significant for women only) and a lower FEV1 /FVC ratio. Asthmatic women sensitized to grass had a lower FEV1 and a lower ratio, and those sensitized to Cladosporium had a lower FEV1 . A weak association was found with sensitization to cat and to Cladosporium among non-asthmatic women, which disappeared after adjusting for BHR. Conclusion We conclude that atopy was related to a lower lung function, which was only apparent among asthmatics. This relationship was explained by specific sensitization to cat and to house dust mite, the latter being homogeneous across areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1713 - 1719
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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