Men may have a greater risk for allergy than women

The largest ever study on blood tests for allergy diagnosis has found that men prove to be more sensitive than women to 11 common allergens. Previous research suggested that women experience allergies more frequently than men, but the results of this study now suggest either that men are more sensitive, or that men are at risk of underdiagnosis and require different reporting standards.

The Quest Diagnostics Health Trends Report, Allergies Across America, from Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) examined the results of nearly 14 million blood tests of specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE) to 11 common allergens including common ragweed, mould, dust mites, cats, dogs and five foods. A high IgE sensitisation level is suggestive of an allergy because IgE is an antibody present in blood, produced by the body’s immune system and signifies the presence of an allergen – although other symptoms need to be taken into consideration before allergy is diagnosed.

Further research is suggested to determine whether men are indeed more susceptible to allergy or whether they are simply more highly sensitised due to their gender. If the latter, this will in turn influence how the results of their blood tests are interpreted.

Source: Quest Diagnostics

First Published in June 2011


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