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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2017;174(2):67-76. doi: 10.1159/000480081. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Association between Allergies and Hypercholesterolemia: A Systematic Review.

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Units of Pediatric Genetics and Immunology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.



There is controversy in the literature regarding the potential relationship between atopic predisposition (AP) and serum cholesterol levels. To this purpose, we reviewed human studies that investigated this possible link.


Following PRISMA guidelines, a literature search of PubMed and Science Direct for peer-reviewed journal articles in English from January 2003, with updates through to August 2016, was conducted. Relevant publications were reviewed that included pediatric and adult populations. Information on the study design, sample, intervention, comparators, outcome, time frame, and risk of bias were abstracted for each article.


Of 601 reviewed reports, 18 were included in this systematic review. Fifteen studies assessed the relationship between AP and serum cholesterol levels. Due to the lack both of observational and cross-sectional studies from the literature search at this time (only 8 studies also analyzed confounding factors) there is a high possibility of confounding variables (familial and genetic predisposition, age, gender, BMI, comorbidity, and medication status) that could not be ruled out.


Existing studies are heterogeneous, making it difficult to draw broad conclusions. Future studies and more detailed analyses, considering confounding variables and including a larger and homogeneous population, are needed to strengthen the argument for a link between lipid metabolism and atopy.


Adults; Allergy; Atopic diseases; Atopic predisposition; Atopy; Children; Hypercholesterolemia; Immunoglobulin E; Lipid metabolism; Systematic review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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