Frequent Allergic Sensitization Leads to More Severe Allergic Disease

Experts are sure that the presence of one allergic manifestation in a patient increases their risk of developing another.

Patients with multiple types of allergic disease and patients with frequent allergic sensitization tend to have more severe cases of allergic disease, according to new research. A team of researchers in Brazil sought to better understand the links between allergic sensitization and allergic diseases in children and noted that it has long been thought that allergic sensitization is a marker of allergy persistence. Additionally, the presence of multiple allergic diseases has been linked with severity.

To study the question, they performed a cross-sectional study of 470 patients, aged 6 months to 18 years, looking at medical histories and measurements of specific serum Immunoglobulin E (sIgE) for whole allergens and their components. Those patients were divided into categories: rhinitis and/or asthma (n = 111), atopic dermatitis (n = 99), food allergies (n = 95), and wheezing as infants (n = 80).

The researchers found that patients with a food allergy, atopic dermatitis, or multiple allergic diseases were more likely to have more severe disease. They also found that allergic sensitization to mites was present in all 4 groups. David A. Hill, MD, PhD, a fellow in the division of allergy and immunology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told MD Magazine that much is already known about the topic of allergic sensitization and disease, and while he was not involved in the study, it adds detail by looking at the impact of having multiple allergic diseases.

“While there has been a fair amount of research supporting an epidemiological and pathophysiological link between the various allergic manifestations, studies of allergic co-morbidity on disease severity are comparatively lacking,” Hill said.

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