Prediction of allergy from family history and cord blood IgE levels

A follow-up at the age of 5 years. Cord blood IgE. IV.

Authors


Ole Øterballe Pediatric department Viborg Hospital DK 8800 Viborg Denmark

Abstract

Screening of total IgE in 1189 cord blood samples was conducted by Phadebas IgE PRIST in a one-year birth cohort 1983-1984 in Viborg. Denmark. 113 children with cord blood IgE levels ≥ 0.5 kU/l and 138 children chosen at random among those with cord blood IgE levels < 0. 5 kU/l were seen at a follow-up at 5 years of age. Based upon history and physical examination a diagnosis of definite atopy or no atopy was established. Allergy (IgE mediated) was defined as atopic disease combined with increased total IgE levels at 5 years of age. The cumulative prevalence of atopic disease was not influenced by cord blood IgE levels or atopic predisposition. Cord blood IgE levels had a low sensitivity as a predictor of atopic disease. A statistically significant correlation between serum levels of IgE at birth and at 5 years was however found (p < 0.001), and a significantly greater number of children with elevated cord blood IgE levels developed allergic disease before 5 years of age (p < 0.01). A cut-off limit of 0. 3 kU/l was superior to the originally suggested limit of 0. 5 kU/l. A total IgE level > 63 kU/l (geometric mean + 1 SD) at the age of 5 years can be regarded as being an elevated level. A cord blood IgE level ≥ 0.3 kU/l in combination with atopic predisposition was predictive of allergic disease, especially allergic bronchial asthma. With regard to allergic disease, the positive predictive value was 26%, the sensitivity 33% and the rate ratio for development of allergic disease 4. In the case of the most serious atopic disease, allergic bronchial asthma, the positive predictive value was 20%, the sensitivity 87% and the rate ratio 68.

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