The absence of IgE sensitization to allergen components in the presence of sensitization to the corresponding extract has been reported, but its clinical importance has not been studied.
To evaluate the clinical significance of IgE sensitization to three aeroallergen extracts and the corresponding components in relation to the development of respiratory disease.
A total of 467 adults participated in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) II and 302 in ECRHS III, 12 years later. IgE sensitization to allergen extract and components, exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine were measured in ECRHS II. Rhinitis and asthma symptoms were questionnaire-assessed in both ECRHS II and III.
A good overall correlation was found between IgE sensitization to extract and components for cat (r = 0.83), timothy (r = 0.96) and birch (r = 0.95). However, a substantial proportion of subjects tested IgE positive for cat and timothy allergen extracts but negative for the corresponding components (48% and 21%, respectively). Subjects sensitized to both cat extract and components had higher FeNO (P = 0.008) and more bronchial responsiveness (P = 0.002) than subjects sensitized only to the extract. Further, subjects sensitized to cat components were more likely to develop asthma (P = 0.005) and rhinitis (P = 0.007) than subjects sensitized only to cat extract.
Measurement of IgE sensitization to cat allergen components would seem to have a higher clinical value than extract-based measurement, as it related better to airway inflammation and responsiveness and had a higher prognostic value for the development of asthma and rhinitis over a 12-year period.
The marked rise in allergies during the past decade has been increasingly perceptible for school personnel. A quarter of Swedish parents of children with allergies are unsatisfied with the school environment and how the schools are organized around their children. The Association of School Physicians has, together with six other medical, teaching and patient organizations, developed written guidelines for the management of asthma and allergies in Swedish schools. The aim was to regulate the responsibility of the school and its personnel for students with asthma and allergies, and to strengthen safety arrangements within schools. A secondary aim was to describe how the curriculum, teaching equipment, excursions, and other school activities, could be arranged appropriately and safely for students with asthma and allergies. Five-hundred copies of the document were circulated to all of Sweden's municipalities, county councils and pediatric departments. There was general agreement regarding the schools' responsibility that no child should risk becoming ill or having exacerbation of symptoms due to conditions at school. Recommendations regarding smoking on school premises and the use of perfumes were criticised. The strength of this document is that all organizations actively involved with schools have agreed upon these recommendations. This document serves to suggest a minimum level of activities thus ensuring that even students with asthma and allergies will receive appropriate schooling.
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to evaluate the cumulative incidence, point prevalence, and severity of atopic dermatitis (AD) in a pediatric population. We also aimed to identify differential diagnoses relevant to AD in this population. METHODS: Children scheduled for a health visit at 5.5 years of age were selected consecutively during the period October 1997-March 1998 from two cities in southern Sweden (G?teborg and Kristianstad). Schultz Larsen's questionnaire was used to evaluate the cumulative incidence of AD. Clinical examination was performed by dermatologists (A.B. and A.S.) for those children with active eczema. The UK working party's criteria were used for the clinical diagnosis of AD. The SCORAD index was used to evaluate the severity of eczema. This index includes evaluation of extent, intensity, and subjective symptoms to a maximum score of 103 points. RESULTS: In G?teborg 1219 and in Kristianstad 742 questionnaires were answered regarding 1961 children, 1004 boys and 957 girls. The response rate was 89%. According to the answers to Schultz Larsen's questionnaire, the cumulative incidence of AD in the whole material was 20.7% (406/1961) (CI 95% 18.9-22.5). In G?teborg, 104 of the examined children fulfilled the UK working party's criteria, equivalent to a point prevalence of 8.5% (CI 95% 7.0-10.1). In Kristianstad, the corresponding point prevalence was 11.5% (CI 95% 9.2-13.8). The severity of AD was evaluated in all children with visible eczema. SCORAD evaluation was performed in 155 of the 157 children with visible eczema. The majority of children had mild or moderate eczema; mean value 20.5 (CI 95% 18.7-22.3), median 19.6. Of the 96 children who did not fulfil the criteria of AD, other skin disorders were diagnosed in 51 at the clinical examination. Dry skin was by far the most common differential diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: We have used validated protocols to evaluate the cumulative incidence, point prevalence, and severity of AD in a population-based study in southern Sweden The present study, involving a rural and urban pediatric population, shows that AD is common, usually classified as mild or moderate, and seems to increase over time.
OBJECTIVES: To study carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae among healthy young children, determine the proportion of strains with decreased susceptibility to penicillin, and study possible risk factors for the carriage of penicillin-resistant strains. METHODS: Between February 1996 and February 1997, 620 healthy, 18-month-old children in Goteborg, Sweden were screened for carriage of S. pneumoniae with decreased susceptibility to penicillin. Nasopharyngeal samples were obtained from children visiting child health centres for routine health control. RESULTS: Streptococus pneumoniae was found in 322 samples and 18 strains (5.6%, CI95 3.4; 8.8) of all pneumococci showed decreased susceptibility to penicillin G with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranging from 0.125 to 1.0 mg/l. The proportion of strains with decreased susceptibility was similar to that found in a laboratory-based material (6%), from the same geographical area and time period. A majority of the children with strains with decreased susceptibility to penicillin (n = 11) were not attending day-care centres. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of S. pneumoniae with reduced susceptibility to penicillin is still low in unselected healthy Swedish children.
To date, most studies of the 'allergy epidemic' have been based on self-reported data. There is still limited knowledge on time trends in allergic sensitization, especially among adults.
To study allergic sensitization, its risk factors and time trends in prevalence.
Within West Sweden Asthma Study (WSAS), a population-based sample of 788 adults (17-60 years) underwent skin prick tests (SPTs) for 11 aeroallergens 2009-2012. Specific IgE was analysed in 750 of the participants. Those aged 20-46 years (n = 379) were compared with the European Community Respiratory Health Survey sample aged 20-46 year from the same area (n = 591) in 1991-1992.
Among those aged 20-46 years, the prevalence of positive SPT to pollen increased, timothy from 17.1% to 29.0% (P
The number of police reports on child assault shows an increasing trend during the last two decades in Sweden. The purpose of this article is to present possible explanations. Increased awareness of child abuse, legislative reforms, changes in attitudes toward corporal punishment and violence in general, and changed routines within schools can explain the increasing trend in police reporting. An actual increase in the rate of child abuse is possible but less likely. Reports of increasingly violent behavior among young people must be taken seriously.
Serum levels of interleukin (IL)-4, interferon (IFN)-gamma and soluble CD23 (sCD23) were analysed in a prospective study of 64 infants monitored from birth to 18 months of age. The levels were low at birth and then increased, reaching a peak at either 6 or 9 months and then decreased up to 18 months of age. The children who developed atopic disease during the first 18 months of life had significantly higher IL-4 median levels than those who did not. No relationship was seen between the levels of sCD23 and IFN-gamma and allergy. Thus, the IL-4 levels in serum, but not sCD23 and IFN-gamma, were associated with allergic disease in infancy. Elevated levels were recorded before the onset of clinical symptoms, indicating that atopic disease is associated with a primary deviation of T cell function.
AIM: The aim of the current study was to retrospectively examine introduction of food during the first year in a representative sample of Swedish children. A secondary aim was to study how parents with history of atopy introduced food to their infants. METHODS: Data derive from 467 infants who visited child health centres in three different counties in Sweden for health check-up at 12 mo of age. The parents were asked to fill in a questionnaire about breastfeeding and/or formula feeding, time of introduction of weaning food focusing on cow's milk, follow-on formula, porridge, fish and egg. Questions regarding hypersensitivity in the family, peanut consumption of mother as well as in the child, and questions about number of siblings, ethnic background and parental education were included. RESULTS: Compliance with suggested introduction of gluten-containing food was low; as many as 45% had avoided gluten until 6 mo of age, instead of introducing gluten between 4 and 6 mo. Only 33% of parents with stated family hypersensitivity avoided giving their child fish and 23% avoided egg during the first year, even though this recommendation was present at the time of the study. Almost 50% of all mothers had avoided peanuts during pregnancy even though there was no such advice. The avoidance of peanut was not connected to hypersensitivity in the family. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that time of introduction of gluten was not in accordance with the current recommendation. The results imply that there is a need to follow up if and how this feeding information is distributed to parents with infants and also to sharpen the information to the right target groups, otherwise implementation of preventive strategies will be less useful.
BACKGROUND: The relation between psychosomatic and psychosocial symptoms and blood pressure was studied in Swedish schoolchildren. METHODS: Blood pressure was measured in 122 healthy Swedish schoolchildren, aged 6-16 years. Psychosomatic and psychosocial symptoms, delinquent behaviour, parental health and employment status were assessed. RESULTS: Children with systolic blood pressure above + 1 SD of mean reported significantly less symptoms (x = 1.4) than children with blood pressure below -1 SD of the mean (x = 2.7; p