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ACAAI: Idiopathic Urticaria Linked to Thyroid Disease

Treating thyroid problems could help control persistent lesions and/or angioedema

FRIDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Thyroid disease is common among patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria and/or angioedema, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Philadelphia.

Harb Harfi, M.D., of King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and colleagues tested thyroid function, antithyroid antibodies, antithyroglobulin antibodies and other functions in 165 patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria/angioedema. Patients' mean age was 38 years, 68 were men and 97 were women; their condition had lasted a mean of 4.38 years.

The researchers found that 29 percent of the patients tested positive for antithyroglobulin antibodies and/or antimicrosomal antibodies, 24 percent tested positive for antimicrosomal antibodies and nearly 17 percent tested positive for antithyroglobulin antibodies, versus about 6 percent in the population at large. Meanwhile, 2.4 percent were hyperthyroid and 6.6 percent were hypothyroid.

"There is an increased prevalence of thyroid disease and auto-antibodies in patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria/angioedema, which may support the role of autoimmunity in its pathogenesis," the authors write. "Testing for thyroid function and antithyroid antibodies should be done to these patients, since its treatment may help control chronic idiopathic urticaria/angioedema."

For more information, go to the Web site of the ACAAI's annual meeting (More Information).

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