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Effects of Aeroallergens on Children Increase with Age

Perennial allergens predominant in children under 3 years of age

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of aeroallergen sensitivity in children are high and increase as children get older, whereas perennial allergens predominate in children under the age of 3 years, according to a study published in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Christopher W. Calabria, M.D., and John Dice, M.D., of Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, conducted a study among children aged 18 years and younger, including 209 who underwent skin-prick testing with a screening panel of eight tests and 345 children who underwent testing to a standard panel of 51 allergens.

Among the eight-test panel group, tests produced at least one positive result in 35.4 percent of subjects, ranging from 6.3 percent in those aged less than 1 year to 58.8 percent in those aged 5 years. The most common allergen was mold mix (16.3 percent), followed by cat (13.2 percent), dust mite mix (11.4 percent), tree mix (9.4 percent) and grass mix (9.4 percent). Of the 345 children who were tested using the 51-allergen panel, 80.3 percent had at least one positive result and had an average 11.4 positive test results.

"Sensitization rates for many underreported aeroallergens are also high in children," the authors write. "Although performed in a military population, these results should be applicable to many allergy practices," they conclude.

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