Objective: Sensitization to an aeroallergen is known to
diminish pulmonary function in young children and adults; however, it
remains unclear whether it produces similar effects in adolescents.
This study, therefore, examined the relationship between serum
allergen-specific IgE levels and pulmonary function in
Design: Middle-school children were
invited for a physician’s evaluation and pulmonary function test when
not experiencing an asthma attack and for the determination of serum
levels of specific IgE to common allergens.
National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Taiwan.
Subjects: Middle-school children in southern Taiwan, who
had completed both a nationally administered Chinese version of the
International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire
and a pulmonary function test in October 1996.
Results: Forty-two then currently asthmatic children, 38
children with asthma in remission (no reported attack for > 12
months), and 69 children without asthma completed the study. Children
with asthma had a significantly lower adjusted forced expiratory flow
between 25% and 75% of FVC (FEF25–75%) and
FEV1/FVC than children without asthma. A greater percentage
of children with asthma were more sensitized to Dermatophagoides
pteronyssinus (Der p), Dermatophagoides farinae
(Der f), and German cockroach but not cat dander or dog dander.
Children with asthma with Der f-specific IgE > 100 IU/mL, or
cockroach-specific IgE > 0.7 IU/mL showed lower pulmonary function.
No such association was found in children without asthma.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that sensitization to Der
f and German cockroach was a critical factor for the lower pulmonary
function observed in middle-school children with