Posted by: Indonesian Children | May 11, 2010

Association of Obesity with IgE and Allergy Symptoms in Children and Adolescents: Results from NHANES 2005–2006



J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 May; 123(5): 1163–1169.e4.Published online 2009 February 23. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.12.1126.

Association of Obesity with IgE and Allergy Symptoms in Children and Adolescents: Results from NHANES 2005–2006


Cynthia M. Visness, Ph.D.,1,2 Stephanie J. London, M.D., Dr. P.H.,3 Julie L. Daniels, Ph.D.,1 Jay S. Kaufman, Ph.D.,1 Karin B. Yeatts, Ph.D.,1 Anna-Maria Siega-Riz, Ph.D.,1 Andrew H. Liu, M.D.,4 Agustin Calatroni, M.A., M.S.,2 and Darryl C. Zeldin, M.D.3

1 Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2 Rho Federal Systems Division, Inc., Chapel Hill, North Carolina3 Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina4 National Jewish Medical and Research Center and University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver, Colorado

Corresponding Author: Cynthia M. Visness, Rho Federal Systems Division, Inc., 6330 Quadrangle Dr., Suite 500, Chapel Hill, NC 27517, Phone: (919) 408-8000, Fax: (919) 287-3009, Email:

The publisher’s final edited version of this article is available at J Allergy Clin Immunol.Publisher’s Disclaimer

The prevalence of both obesity and allergic disease has increased among children over the last several decades. Previous literature on the relationship between obesity and allergic disease has been inconsistent. It is not known whether systemic inflammation could be a factor in this relationship.
To examine the association of obesity with total and allergen-specific IgE levels and with allergy symptoms in U.S. children and adolescents, and to assess the role of C-reactive protein.
NHANES data from 2005–2006 included measurement of total and allergen-specific IgE and allergy questions. Overweight was defined as ≥ 85th to < 95th percentile of BMI-for-age, and obesity was defined as ≥ 95% percentile. Linear and logistic regression models were used to examine the association of weight categories with total IgE, atopy, allergen-specific IgE, and allergy symptoms among youth aged 2–19.
Geometric mean total IgE levels were higher among obese (geometric mean ratio: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.10–1.57) and overweight children (ratio: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.02–1.54) than among normal weight children. The odds ratio for atopy (any positive specific IgE) was elevated in the obese children compared to those of normal weight; this association was driven largely by allergic sensitization to foods (OR for atopy: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.03–1.55; OR for food sensitization: 1.59; 95% CI: 1.28–1.98). C-reactive protein levels were associated with total IgE, atopy, and food sensitization.
Obesity may be a contributor to the increased prevalence of allergic disease in children, particularly food allergy. Systemic inflammation may play a role in the development of allergic disease.
Clinical Implications
Efforts to reduce or prevent childhood obesity may have the added benefit of reducing allergic disease, especially to foods.
Keywords: Atopy, Allergen-Specific IgE, Total IgE, BMI, Obesity, Overweight, Allergic Disease, Inflammation


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