Author(s): Izabela KupryLipiska
Skin prick tests are a common, fast and safe method used for atopy screening and identification of sensitizing allergens. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of the positive skin prick test (SPT) with common inhaled allergens in the general population of Lodz province and to identify the most common allergens.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
A random sample of 1522 subjects aged from 3 to 80 was taken. Demographic data and medical histories were collected from all participants via standardized questionnaires. Skin prick tests were performed with ten aeroallergens.
The complete data from 1340 subjects (1057 adults and 283 children) were included for further analysis. At least one positive reaction to a tested aeroallergen was observed in 24.4% of studied subjects (24% of adults and 25.4% of children). Positive tests were observed most frequently in the group of patients with rhinitis. 12.2% of subjects showed a positive skin reaction without clinical symptoms of an allergic disease. The most common sensitizing allergens were house dust mites. No significant differences in sex and age between groups with positive SPT and negative SPT were observed in the study. Statistically significant differences between the studied regions (p = 0.037) were noticed in the case of the number of positive reactions and the kind of sensitizing allergen.
The distribution of positive skin tests in the above study was similar to several epidemiological studies from central and eastern Europe. Skin prick tests are valuable epidemiological tools in the diagnosis of atopy and allergy.