Thursday, 15 October 2015
Hall D1 Foyer (Floor 3) (Coex Convention Center)
Background: Inhalant allergen sensitization is a major risk factor for allergic disease, which is largely influenced by living environments. Despite substantial geographic variations in allergen sensitization in the literature, comprehensive studies are still lacking in Korean adults. Objective: We aimed to investigate recent patterns of inhalant allergen sensitization among Korean adult patients with suspected history of respiratory allergy, and also examine the geographic variations of the sensitization profiles in Korea. Methods: From 2009 to 2014, a total of 34,289 patient records were retrieved for a retrospective analysis, from 12 referral allergist clinics in 9 different regions. Inclusion criteria were Korean adults (≥ 18 years old) who underwent inhalant allergen skin prick test for suspected history of respiratory allergy. Primary outcome was the detailed profile of inhalant allergen sensitization. Sensitization to allergens was defined by allergen-to-histamine wheal ratio ≥ 1. Demographic and clinical information, and residential area of participants were also collected. Regional sensitization profiles of individual allergens were calculated after adjusting age and sex. We meta-analyzed the regional sensitization profiles, and then estimated both overall atopy and individual allergen sensitization profiles in general. Geographic variations of sensitization between allergen groups were statistically compared by using Cochrane Q and I2-statistics. Results: Overall prevalence of atopy was 44.8% (95% CI [38.5-47.8]). In overall, Der F and Der P were the most commonly sensitized allergens (29.5% and 28.7%, respectively), and followed by cat (8.0) and birch (8.0%), hazel (7.4%), alder (7.2%), mugwort (7.0%), beech (6.7%), oak (6.6%) and Tyrophagus putrescentiae (5.8%). The ten common inhalant allergens were similar between regions. However, in Jeju, 6 among 10 common allergen were different from other regions. Sensitization to Japanese cedar (12.4%), rye (8.7%), velvet (8.3%), Kentucky (8.1%), timothy (7.5%) and vernal grass (7.4%) were more prevalent in Jeju. According to allergen groups, geographic heterogeneity were highest in outdoor molds and cockroaches. Sensitization to animals, weeds and mites showed less dependent to locations. Sensitization to pollen from early- and mid-blooming trees were significantly high in Gangwon, Gyeongbuk and Busan. Conclusion: As overall, common inhalant allergens were Der P, Der F, cat, birch, hazel, alder, mugwort, beech, oak and Tyrophagus putrescentiae. Sensitization to inhalant allergens showed geographic variations, particularly in Jeju. This study was the largest scale conducted, so far, on the aeroallergen sensitizations in Korean adults. We hope our findings could contribute to the establishment of skin prick test panels for use in clinical practice and epidemiological surveys.