The structuring of an allergy index based on IgE-mediated skin sensitivity to common environmental allergens

Linda R. Freidhoff, David G. Marsh, Deborah A. Meyers, Rabia Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We computed skin-test sensitivity levels in 485 adults puncture-tested with eight standardized, high-quality inhalant allergens tested at single concentrations. In order to quantitate the "average" IgE-mediated skin sensitivity of each subject, we used both nonparametric and parametric statistical methods to generate two "allergy indices" (Allergy Index I and Allergy Index II) based on sensitivity end-point data from the subpopulations of individuals positive to six of the eight allergens. For the 192 skin test-positive subjects, Allergy Index I and Allergy Index II were significantly correlated with each other (rs = 0.98, p < 0.001) and with the number of positive skin-test reactions (rs ∼- 0.9, p < 0.001) as well as with log[total serum IgE] (r ∼- 0.4, p < 0.01). In 102 ragweed-positive subjects, log[specific IgE to ragweed] was significantly correlated with ragweed-specific "ragweed indices I and II" (r ∼- 0.6, p < 0.01). Furthermore, the average daily symptom scores reported by 14 ragweed-positive subjects during the ragweed pollination season were significantly correlated with ragweed indices I and II (p < 0.05). We propose the use of Allergy Index II in epidemiologic and genetic studies of allergic phenotypes as well as in clinical decisions for diagnosis and immunotherapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-287
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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