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Urticaria is associated with birch-pollen sensitization

Journal article
Authors Bill Hesselmar
B. Eriksson
Nils Åberg
Published in Pediatr Allergy Immunol
ISSN 0905-6157 (Print)
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences
Language en
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


Urticaria is a common condition, seldom of allergic origin. It is however not always possible to find the provoking allergen. The aim of the present study was to analyze if there was a relationship between urticaria and sensitization to common airborne allergens. A representative sample of 402 12 to 13-yr-old children answered a questionnaire on allergic diseases, 397 were interviewed by the study nurse and 371 underwent skin prick tests to cat, dog, horse, birch, timothy-grass, house dust mites and Cladosporium mould. Specific IgE-antibodies were analyzed to birch pollen and cat dander. Urticaria was more common in sensitized children, but the relationship between urticaria and sensitization was only statistically significant for birch pollen sensitization (OR 1.99, 95% CL 1.04-3.83), when tested in a multiple logistic regression model with the specified allergens as independent variables. A similar pattern was seen for birch-specific IgE-antibody levels, which was higher in children reporting urticaria than in those without. IgE-levels to cat dander did not show such a difference. Urticaria was statistically significantly associated with sensitization to birch-pollen, but not to other common inhalant allergens. We propose that intake of birch-pollen cross-reactive food-stuffs may be a neglected cause of urticaria and relapsing urticaria, in birch-pollen sensitized subjects.

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