Yael Graif

Publication Details
Article Title: Increased rate and greater severity of allergic reactions to insect sting among schoolchildren with atopic diseases.

First Author: Yael Graif

All Authors: Graif Y, Romano-Zelekha O, Livne I, Green MS, Shohat T

Journal Title: Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

Abstract: The question of whether atopic diseases are a risk factor for allergic reactions to insect sting is still unresolved. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between atopic diseases (asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic eczema) and allergic reactions to insect stings among schoolchildren in Israel. A self-report questionnaire of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood was administered to a national sample of 13-14-yr-old schoolchildren. Questions regarding reactions to insect stings were added. A total of 10,021 questionnaires were available for analysis. Among the children who reported insect stings (56.3%), the prevalence of current asthma was 6.0%, of allergic rhinitis, 10.5%, and of atopic eczema, 8.7%, with no significant differences from the whole study population. Among children with any of the atopic diseases, 36.9% reported an allergic reaction to insect sting compared to 24.8% of the non-atopic children (p < 0.0001). On multivariate analysis, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic eczema were found to be significant risk factors for allergic reactions of any severity. Children in the atopic group had a significantly higher rate of severe allergic reactions than the non-atopic children, and relatively higher rates of milder ones (p < 0.0001). Asthmatic patients with severe allergic reactions had more parameters of severe asthma than asthmatic patients with mild or no reactions. In conclusions, allergic diseases are associated with a higher rate and greater severity of allergic reactions to insect sting in children. The severity of the allergic reaction is related to the severity of the asthma symptoms.

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