Specific allergic sensitization in parents and their 18-year-old offspring in the Suburban Detroit Childhood Allergy Study

Rana Tawil Misiak, Ganesa Wegienka, Suzanne Havstad, Dennis R. Ownby, Christine Cole Johnson, Edward M. Zoratti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Allergic sensitization is increased among offspring of sensitized parents. Objective: We sought to evaluate whether 18-year-old offspring are likely to have the same allergic sensitizations as their parents. Methods: Eighteen-year-old participants in an unselected birth cohort and their parents were tested for total and increased (>0.35 kU/L) levels of allergen-specific IgE to 6 allergens: Dermatophagoides farinae, dog, cat, grass, ragweed, and Alternaria alternata. Results: In 316 parent-teen triads parental sensitization to any of 6 allergens was associated with teen sensitization to any of those same allergens. An increased risk of matched sensitization (ie, a teen has an increased risk of being sensitized to the same specific allergen as their parent) was found after adjusting for the spouse's sensitivities and adjusting for other allergens (ie, the parent had an allergic sensitization but not to the particular allergen under analysis). Risk of maternal matched sensitization with their teen to cat (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.1; 95% CI, 1.0-4.5), grass (aOR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.2-5.2), and A alternata (aOR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.1-5.5) was increased when compared with that seen in teens without parental allergen-specific sensitization. Similarly, a higher than expected risk of paternal matched sensitization with their teen to dog (aOR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.3-5.9), D farinae (aOR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4-5.1), and grass (aOR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.5-5.9) was observed. Conclusion: Parental allergen-specific IgE increases the likelihood of sensitization to the same allergen in young adult offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1406.e2
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergen-specific IgE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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