Long-term studies from different industrial countries demonstrate an increase in allergies during the past 20 years. Although epidemiological data on allergy prevalence in German children have been published recently, no current data on the prevalence of allergies in German adults exist so far. Therefore, we measured total serum IgE concentrations and specific IgE antibodies in 1088 blood donors (532 female, 556 male) and correlated the results obtained with allergic symptoms. 26% of all blood donors could be identified as atopic individuals by a history of allergy plus detectable corresponding specific IgE antibodies against common aero- or food-allergens. 63.5% of all blood donors were non-atopic individuals characterised by the absence of specific IgE antibodies and no history or physical symptoms of allergies. No specific IgE antibodies were detected in sera of 4% of the participants despite a positive allergy history. By contrast, 6.5% of all blood donors expressed specific IgE antibodies without a history of allergy of allergic symptoms. Our current data about the prevalence of allergies among Northern German blood donors, together with studies from other countries, may help to achieve an objective evaluation of the prevalence of allergic diseases in industrial countries.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|