We have quantitated puncture skin test responses to six standardized, high-quality, inhalant allergen extracts and histamine in 320 adults-a stratified random sample, equally distributed between the sexes and among all decades between 20 and 60 yr. Both the sensitivity of each subject toward histamine and his "average" IgE-mediated skin sensitivity to the entire panel of allergens (Allergy Index) were calculated. Allergy Index and Log [total serum IgE] values were weakly, but significantly, correlated (r = 0.453t p < 0.001). Although both sexes reported similar prevalence rates of "allergy," we found that skin test positivity, Allergy Index, Histamine Index, and log [total serum IgE] were significantly higher ( p ≤ 0.004) for the total population of male adults versus female adults. Skin test positivity, the Allergy Index, and log [total serum IgE] values demonstrated a tendency to decrease between 20 and 60 yr of age. Furthermore, log, age, and sex, respectively, were important predictors of the allergic state (Allergy Index) of an individual. Lastly, in various subgroups of our population, we found only weak correlations between the subjects' perceptions of their allergic status and both the Allergy Index and log [total serum IgE].
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy