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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 33

of 'Overview of skin testing for allergic disease'

33
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Histamine and allergen skin reactivity in the elderly population: results from the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging.
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Song WJ, Lee SM, Kim MH, Kim SH, Kim KW, Cho SH, Min KU, Chang YS
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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Oct;107(4):344-52. Epub 2011 Aug 11.
 
BACKGROUND: The allergen skin prick test is the most representative diagnostic test for atopy, but its use has been limited because of the belief that skin reactivity decreases with aging.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate skin reactivity and influencing factors in the elderly population.
METHODS: This cross-sectional analysis included 854 subjects (aged≥65 years) who participated in the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging cohort (September 2005 to August 2006) and underwent allergen skin prick tests. Skin prick tests were performed with 1 mg/mL of histamine and a panel of 12 aeroallergens that are common in Korea. The wheal diameters were measured and compared to identify the factors associated with skin reactivity.
RESULTS: Older age and female sex were associated with reduced histamine skin reactivity in elderly subjects. This age-related decrease was apparent only among women, the reasons for whichwere not identified. In contrast to histamine, wheal response size induced by 2 major allergens, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae, did not show sex differences and did not decrease with age among the subjects showing allergen-induced wheal size greater than 0 mm.
CONCLUSIONS: This analysis demonstrates that age and sex can independently influence histamine skin reactivity among the elderly population. The allergen-induced wheal sizes did not decrease with age. The discrepancy between histamine and allergen skin reactivity may warrant further evaluation to redefine the cutoff value for the determination of a positive skin test result in elderly subjects.
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Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
PMID