Author(s): Kalyoncu AF, Stlenheim G
A limited survey on the allergic status and total IgE was performed on 205 persons of Turkish origin aged between 16 and 76 years living in Stockholm, Uppsala, Sweden in 1990. A questionnaire was mailed to 205 persons and was returned by 92%. 71 persons were randomly selected among those who returned the questionnaire, and were examined after an interview, skin-prick test (SPT) and total IgE levels were also measured. The atopy prevalence of the randomly selected group of Turks was found 32.4%. Clinical symptoms were significantly associated with positive SPT reactivity. IgE levels in the atopic group were significantly higher than those of non atopic group (78.2 ku/l vs 28.4 ku/l respectively). However, the difference in IgE levels were significant between non atopic and atopic groups residing in Sweden longer than 10.5 years, but not significant between those who resided less than 4.5 years. The allergic spectrum changed with residence time spent in Sweden in Turks. Skin test positivity to birch, cat, and dog increased with time. This increase may be related to the change in life styles and habits, such as indoor contact with pets, and intensive environmental birch pollen exposure. In conclusion, our data indicate that immunologic status of persons is influenced by a new millieu. Within a few years the allergic status of Turkish immigrants adapted to the new environment.