A study of IgE sensitization and skin response to histamine in Asian-Pacific American adults

Mary Lee-Wong, Vivian Chou, Jonathan I. Silverberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Allergic disorders and skin response to histamine have been noted to vary in different ethnicities. We investigated IgE-mediated allergic sensitization and skin response to histamine in Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), black and Hispanic Americans, and white adults. A retrospective questionnaire-based study was performed of 2222 adults presenting at a New York City allergy referral center from 1994 to 2003. Questionnaire data included sex, age, and ethnicity and personal and family history of atopic disorders. Skin-prick test (SPT) data included saline and histamine controls and response to a standardized panel of 10 aeroallergens. APA patients had a lower odds of asthma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52- 0.89; p = 0.005) and/or animal allergies (aOR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.50-0.82; p = 0.0003). Histamine response was not significantly different in APA (aOR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.73-1.12; p = 0.36) or Hispanic Americans (aOR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.85-1.24; p = 0.76), but was higher in black Americans (aOR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.67-3.21; p < 0.0001). APA had higher odds of a positive SPT to trees (aOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.16-1.91; p = 0.002), grasses (aOR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.05-1.43; p = 0.02), feathers (aOR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.31-2.09; p < 0.0001), and cockroaches (aOR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.10-1.62; p = 0.005). Moreover, APA had a higher total number of positive SPTs when compared with white patients (5.5 ± 3.2 versus 4.9 ± 3.3; aOR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.10-1.62 p = 0.004). APA adults in our patient population had more IgE sensitizations but not an increased skin response to histamine. In contrast, black Americans had increased skin response to histamine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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