Study finds IgE antibody levels double with increasing age

In the first such study since the 1970s, researchers observed a highly statistically significant increase of IgE, a type of antibody associated with allergic reactions. The new study, presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Phoenix Nov 11-16, examined IgE levels in subjects from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES), a large cross-sectional U.S. population survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2005-2006.

They then compared the results of their research to the Tucson Epidemiological Study (TES), which examined similar data from the 1970s. "Particularly noteworthy is the doubling of IgE levels in individuals over 55 years, and the more gradual decline in levels with increasing age," wrote the authors. They attribute possible reasons for the increase to "allergic sensitization in our population or changes in lab testing."

Title: Quantitative Increase in Age-Related IgE In United States Population
Coauthors: ACAAI Members Zachary David Jacobs, MD, and Chitra Dinaker, MD, Children's Mercy Hospital & Clinic, Kansas City, MO

By the numbers:
A nationwide survey found more than half of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergens. Often, people don't realize it's allergy that is causing their symptoms. Allergists have the training and expertise to treat more than just symptoms. They can identify the source of your suffering and develop a treatment plan to eliminate the symptoms.

Source: ACAAI

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