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Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Oct 15;166(8):941-50. Epub 2007 Jul 23.

Allergic conditions and brain tumor risk.

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Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


An inverse association between allergic conditions and glioma risk has been reported previously. In this large population-based case-control study, the authors identified cases diagnosed with glioma or meningioma in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and southeast England between 2000 and 2004. Detailed information on self-reported physician-diagnosed allergic conditions was collected from 1,527 glioma cases, 1,210 meningioma cases, and 3,309 randomly selected controls. Logistic regression showed an odds ratio of 0.70 (95% confidence interval: 0.61, 0.80) for glioma associated with a diagnosis of any of asthma, hay fever, eczema, or other type of allergy. The risk estimates for glioma were around 0.65 for each allergic condition (asthma, eczema, hay fever, and food allergy), and the 95% confidence intervals were equally consistent, at around 0.55, 0.80. The reduced risks of glioma related to eczema, hay fever, and allergy overall, but not asthma, were confined to current rather than past conditions. Meningioma risk was not associated with allergic conditions, except for eczema (odds ratio = 0.74, 95% confidence interval: 0.60, 0.91). Our results show a reduced risk for glioma associated primarily with current allergic conditions. If this is etiologic, it has implications for the understanding of how allergic conditions might reduce the tumor risk.

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