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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Oct;132(4):896-905.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.02.046. Epub 2013 May 16.

Factors associated with degree of atopy in Latino children in a nationwide pediatric sample: the Genes-environments and Admixture in Latino Asthmatics (GALA II) study.

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Division of Allergy and Immunology, Children's Memorial Hospital, and the Department of Pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill. Electronic address:



Atopy varies by ethnicity, even within Latino groups. This variation might be due to environmental, sociocultural, or genetic factors.


We sought to examine risk factors for atopy within a nationwide study of US Latino children with and without asthma.


Aeroallergen skin test responses were analyzed in 1830 US Latino subjects. Key determinants of atopy included country/region of origin, generation in the United States, acculturation, genetic ancestry, and site to which subjects migrated. Serial multivariate zero-inflated negative binomial regressions stratified by asthma status examined the association of each key determinant variable with the number of positive skin test responses. In addition, the independent effect of each key variable was determined by including all key variables in the final models.


In baseline analyses African ancestry was associated with 3 times (95% CI, 1.62-5.57) as many positive skin test responses in asthmatic participants and 3.26 times (95% CI, 1.02-10.39) as many positive skin test responses in control participants. Generation and recruitment site were also associated with atopy in crude models. In final models adjusted for key variables, asthmatic patients of Puerto Rican (exp[β] [95% CI], 1.31 [1.02-1.69]) and mixed (exp[β] [95% CI], 1.27 [1.03-1.56]) ethnicity had a greater probability of positive skin test responses compared with Mexican asthmatic patients. Ancestry associations were abrogated by recruitment site but not region of origin.


Puerto Rican ethnicity and mixed origin were associated with degree of atopy within US Latino children with asthma. African ancestry was not associated with degree of atopy after adjusting for recruitment site. Local environment variation, represented by site, was associated with degree of sensitization.


GALA II; Genes-environments and Admixture in Latino Asthmatics; Latino; OR; Odds ratio; SES; SNP; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Socioeconomic status; ZINB; Zero-inflated negative binomial; aeroallergen; atopy; genetic ancestry; immigration; region of origin; skin test

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