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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Nov;108(5):781-3.

Could TH1 and TH2 diseases coexist? Evaluation of asthma incidence in children with coeliac disease, type 1 diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis: a register study.

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  • 1Department Of Pediatrics, Turku, Finland.



Asthma is generally regarded as a disease with strong T(H)2-type cytokine expression, whereas in autoimmune disorders, such as coeliac disease (CD), insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), T(H)1-type expression is seen. According to the cross-regulatory properties of T(H)1 and T(H)2 cells, one would assume that these diseases exist in different patient populations.


We sought to test the hypothesis that asthma could exist in children with T(H)1-type diseases, such as CD, IDDM, and RA.


Comparison was made of the cumulative incidence of asthma in children with CD, IDDM, or RA by linking Finnish Medical Birth Register data on the whole 1987 birth cohort (n = 60,254 births) with the data of several national health registers to obtain information on the incidences of these diseases during the first 7 years of life.


The cumulative incidence of asthma in children with CD (24.6%) or RA (10.0%) was significantly higher than in children without CD (3.4%) or RA (3.4%; P < .001 and P = .016, respectively). Asthma tended to be more common in children with IDDM than in children without IDDM.


These data indicate that the T(H)1 and T(H)2 diseases can coexist, indicating a common environmental denominator behind the disease processes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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