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J Allergy (Cairo). 2012;2012:125367. doi: 10.1155/2012/125367. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Urticaria in monozygotic and dizygotic twins.

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Department of Dermato-Allergology Gentofte Hospital 2900 Hellerup, Denmark.


Aim. To identify risk factors for urticaria, to determine the relative proportion of the susceptibility to urticaria that is due to genetic factors in an adult clinical twin sample, and to further determine whether the genetic susceptibility to urticaria overlaps with the genetic susceptibility to atopic diseases. Methods. A total of 256 complete twin pairs and 63 single twins, who were selected from sibships with self-reported asthma via a questionnaire survey of 21,162 adult twins from the Danish Twin Registry, were clinically interviewed about a history of urticaria and examined for atopic diseases. Data were analysed with Cox proportional hazards regression and variance components models. Results. A total of 151 individuals (26%) had a history of urticaria, whereas 24 (4%) had had symptoms within the past year. Female sex, HR = 2.09 (1.46-2.99), P = 0.000; hay fever, HR = 1.92 (1.36-2.72), P = 0.000; and atopic dermatitis, HR = 1.44 (1.02-2.06), P = 0.041 were significant risk factors for urticaria. After adjustment for sex and age at onset of urticaria in the index twin, the risk of urticaria was increased in MZ cotwins relative to DZ cotwins, HR = 1.42 (0.63-3.18), P = 0.394. Genetic factors explained 45% (16-74%), P = 0.005, of the variation in susceptibility to urticaria. The genetic correlation between urticaria and hay fever was 0.45 (0.01-0.89), P = 0.040. Conclusions. Susceptibility to urticaria is partly determined by genetic factors. Urticaria is more common in women, and in subjects with hay fever and atopic dermatitis, and shares genetic variance with hay fever.

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