Allergies May Protect Against Glioma

Inverse association found between number of allergies and glioma risk

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Allergies may be protective against gliomas, with an inverse relationship between the number of allergies and the risk of developing a glioma, according to a study in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Bridget J. McCarthy, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois in Chicago, and colleagues studied 419 glioma cases and 612 hospital-based control subjects from Duke University and NorthShore University HealthSystem. Analyses were carried out to examine the association between the duration and timing of allergies and antihistamine use and the risk of glioma.

The researchers found that high- and low-grade glioma cases were significantly less likely to report any allergy than the control subjects (odds ratios, 0.66 for high-grade and 0.44 for low-grade gliomas). The number of different types of allergies that a patient reported was statistically significant with an inverse relationship to glioma risk. The use of oral antihistamines was also significantly inversely associated with glioma risk. However, when stratified according to patients' allergy status, the association remained significant only for those patients who had a high-grade glioma and no medically diagnosed allergy. Age at allergy diagnosis and years since diagnosis were not associated with glioma risk.

"Our results confirm the overall association with allergies and the trend of decreased glioma risk with increasing number of allergies," the authors write.

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