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Epidemiology of contact allergy in adults.
Allergy 56, 1192-1196 (2001)
BACKGROUND: We aimed to determine the prevalence of contact sensitization in the general population and to investigate associations with important sociodemographic and medical characteristics. METHODS: Within a population-based nested, case-control study in Germany, we performed patch tests with 25 standard allergens in 1141 adults (50.4% female, age median 50 years). Additional information was obtained by a dermatologic examination, a standardized interview, and blood analysis. RESULTS: At least one positive reaction was exhibited by 40.0% of the subjects, with reactions most frequently observed to fragrance mix (15.9%), nickel (13.1%), thimerosal (4.7%), and balsam of Peru (3.8%). Women were sensitized more often than men (50.2% vs 29.9%, OR 2.36, CI 1.84-3.03), and this was also significant for fragrance mix, nickel, turpentine, cobalt chloride, and thimerosal. Contact sensitization was more frequent in subjects who reported adverse skin reactions (53.8% vs. 32.6%; OR 2.41, CI 1.85-3.14), and this was particularly true for sensitization to nickel (45.5% vs 8.8%, OR 8.64, CI 5.67-13.17) and fragrance mix (29.0% vs 14.0%, OR 2.51, CI 1.60-3.91) and the corresponding intolerance of fashion jewelry and fragrances. Contact sensitization decreased with increasing degree of occupational training (unskilled 45.9%, apprenticeship 40.1%, technical college 40.4%, and school of engineering 12.5%; P=0.023; trend test P=0.042). Significant associations of contact sensitization and presence of allergen-specific IgE antibodies, atopic eczema, or psoriasis were not observed. Frequency estimates for the general adult population based on these findings were 28.0% for overall contact sensitization and 11.4% for fragrance mix, 9.9% for nickel, and 3.2% for thimerosal. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that contact allergy is influenced by sociodemographic parameters and plays an important role in the general population.
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Publikationstyp Artikel: Journalartikel
Dokumenttyp Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Schlagwörter adults contact sensitization epidemiology gender history occupation prevalence
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0105-4538
Quellenangaben Band: 56, Heft: 12, Seiten: 1192-1196
Begutachtungsstatus Peer reviewed
Institut(e) Institute of Epidemiology (EPI)