Increased risk of asthma at age 10 years for children sensitized to multiple allergens

Suzanne L. Havstad, Alexandra Sitarik, Haejin Kim, Edward M. Zoratti, Dennis Ownby, Christine Cole Johnson, Ganesa Wegienka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Childhood sensitization patterns have been previously found to be related to variable risk of early life allergic disease in several birth cohorts. Objective: To determine whether these risks persist into later childhood. Methods: In the birth cohort of the Wayne County Health, Environment, Allergy and Asthma Longitudinal Study, previous latent class analysis based on sensitization to 10 allergens found the following 4 early life sensitization patterns at age 2 years: “highly sensitized,” “milk/egg dominated,” “peanut and inhalant(s),” and “low to no sensitization.” At an age 10 study-specific visit, children were evaluated by an allergist for current asthma and atopic dermatitis through a physical examination and interviews with the child and parent or guardian. Total and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE), spirometry, and methacholine challenge were also completed. Results: Compared with children sensitized to none or 1 allergen, children sensitized to 4 or more food and inhalant allergens at age 2 had the highest risk of current asthma (relative risk [RR], 4.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.58-7.59; P < .001) and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (RR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.29-2.42; P < .001). In addition, they had the highest levels of total IgE (geometric mean, 800 IU/mL; 95% CI, 416-1536) among the 4 groups. Risk of current atopic dermatitis did not depend on pattern of sensitization but remained increased for children with any sensitization (RR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.40-3.55; P < .001). No differences in spirometry (forced expiratory volume in 1 second, forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75%, and forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity) were identified. Conclusion: The previously reported importance of a specific pattern of sensitization in early life (sensitization to ≥4 inhalant and food allergens) continues to be associated with an increased risk of asthma, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, and high total IgE at age 10 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-445.e1
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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