Prevalence of contact allergy in the general population in different European regions.

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Prevalence of contact allergy in the general population in different European regions.

Br J Dermatol. 2015 Sep 15;

Authors: Diepgen TL, Ofenloch RF, Bruze M, Bertuccio P, Cazzaniga S, Coenraads PJ, Elsner P, Goncalo M, Svensson Å, Naldi L

BACKGROUND: Population-based studies about contact allergy are scarce.
OBJECTIVES: To obtain reliable estimates of prevalence of contact allergy in the general population in Europe.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study of a random sample from the general population, aged 18 to 74 years, in 5 different European countries (Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Portugal). In total 12,377 subjects were interviewed and a random sample (n=3,119) patch tested to TRUE-test panel 1, 2 and 3 plus fragrance mix II, HICC, and sesquiterpene lactone mix. A positive patch test reaction is considered as contact allergy.
RESULTS: In total, 27.0% (95% CI 25.5-28.5) had at least one positive reaction to an allergen of the European baseline series with a significant higher prevalence in females compared to males. The highest age-standardized prevalences (? 1%) were found for nickel (14.5%; 95% CI 13.2-15.8), thimerosal (5.0%; 95% CI 4.2-5.8), cobalt (2.2%; 95% CI 1.7-2.7), fragrance mix II (1.9%, 95% CI 1.5-2.5), fragrance mix I (1.8% 95% CI 1.4-2.3), hydroxyisohexyl-3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde (HICC)(1.4%, 95% CI 1.0-1.9), p-tert-butylphenol- formaldehyde-resin (1.3%; 95% CI 0.9-1.7), and p-phenylenediamine (1.0%; 95% CI 0.6-1.3). Only Nickel and Thimerosal showed a statistically significant different prevalence for contact allergy amongst the different European populations. Subjects that reported contact dermatitis in lifetime (age-standardized prevalence 15.1%, 95%CI 13.8-16.3) had an increased risk for contact allergy (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.5-2.5) the risk of having a contact allergy was not increase in those with atopic dermatitis (prevalence 7.6%, 95% CI 6.7-8.6; OR 1.0, 95% CI 0.7-1.4).
CONCLUSIONS: Contact allergy to at least one allergen of the European baseline series was diagnosed in more than one quarter of the general European population. Therefore measures to improve the primary prevention of contact allergy have to be enforced. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 26370659 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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