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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Oct;108(4):537-9.

Decreased prevalence of sensitization to cats with high exposure to cat allergen.

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  • 1North West Lung Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom.


We investigated the relationship between current exposure to cat allergen and sensitization to cats. A questionnaire was administered and skin prick testing and home visits for collection of dust samples (Fel d 1; ELISA) were performed in 2502 adults (mean age, 31.8 years; age range, 18-58 years; 1251 women). The results for Fel d 1 in relation to sensitization to cats were analyzed for 10 deciles of cat allergen exposure (cut points [microg/g]: 0.05, 0.34, 0.48, 0.72, 1.13, 1.92, 7.2, 44, 151). The prevalence of sensitization to cat was significantly decreased in the lowest and the highest exposure groups. In the multivariate regression analysis (age, sex, socioeconomic status, and current smoking being adjusted for), the risk of sensitization to cats was significantly increased with medium exposure to Fel d 1 (3rd centile, OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.4, P =.01; 4th centile, OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.0, P =.03; 5th centile, OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-4.3, P =.04, 6th centile, OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3-4.9, P =.005). These results indicate that the prevalence of sensitization to cat is decreased in the lowest and highest cat allergen exposure groups.

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