Exposure to fragrance chemicals causes various eye and airway symptoms. Individuals with perfume contact allergy report these symptoms more frequently than individuals with nickel allergy or no contact allergies. However, the associations between contact allergy and respiratory symptoms elicited by airborne chemicals other than perfumes are unclear. The study aimed to investigate the association between eye and airway symptoms elicited by airborne chemicals (other than perfumes) and contact allergy in a population-based sample. A questionnaire on respiratory symptoms was posted, in 2002, to 1189 individuals who participated in 1997/1998 in a Danish population-based study of allergic diseases. Questions about eye and airway symptoms elicited by different airborne chemicals and airborne proteins were included in the questionnaire. Data from the questionnaire were compared with data on patch testing and prick testing. Having at least 1 positive patch test (adjusted odds ratio 1.7, 95% CI 1.2-2.5) was associated with the symptoms, and the odds ratio increased with the number of positive patch tests (P-value for test for trend
The aim of this study was to assess the distribution of allergen skin test reactivity in an unselected Danish population. A total of 793 subjects, aged 15-69 years, were invited, and 599 (75.5%) attended. The skin prick test was performed with standardized allergen extracts of high potency. Skin reactivity occurred in 28.4% of the subjects. The frequency of skin reactivity to the specific allergens ranged from 1.5% (Cladosporium) to 12.5% (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus), and the frequencies of skin reactivity to the allergen groups (pollen, animal dander, house-dust mites, and molds) were 17.6%, 8.7%, 14.0%, and 3.2%, respectively. Young women appeared to reflect the average skin reactivity. When compared with young women, skin reactivity to animal dander was more probable in young men (odds ratio (OR) value = 2.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) of odds ratio value = 1.1-6.1). Current smokers were less likely than nonsmokers to be skin-reactive to pollen (OR = 0.4; 95% CI = 0.3-0.7). In conclusion, allergen skin test reactivity was common, and was related to sex, age, smoking history, and probably genetic predisposition.
In 1990 and 1998 15-41-year-old people were patch-tested in 2 cross-sectional studies of random samples of the population in the western part of Copenhagen County, Denmark. In 1990, 290 subjects and in 1998, 469 subjects were patch-tested. The participation rates were 69% and 51%, respectively. Contact sensitivity to one or more haptens was found in 15.9% and 18.6% in 1990 and 1998, respectively. Nickel sensitivity is still the most common contact sensitivity. The risk of contact sensitivity to the cosmetic-related haptens included in the series (formaldehyde was not included) increased significantly from 2.4% in 1990 to 5.8% in 1998 (odds ratio 2.44, 95% confidence interval 1.04-5.73). The prevalence of contact sensitivity to cosmetic-related allergens has been doubled between 1990 and 1998.
The distribution of allergic contact sensitization was assessed in an unselected population, living in western Copenhagen, Denmark. Ready-to-apply patch tests comprising 23 haptens and mixtures of haptens were mailed to 793 adults, and 567 (71.5%) participated. The tests were read 2 days after application. A total of 111 positive reactions were found among 86 (15.2%) subjects. Sensitization was less frequent in men than in women (11.5% versus 18.8%). Twenty out of the 23 chemicals in the test elicited positive reactions. Positive reactions to nickel and thiomersal were found most frequently (6.7% and 3.4%, respectively). Concerning the other chemicals the frequencies were 1.1% or less. Nickel sensitivity was less frequent in men than in women (2.2% versus 11.1%). The frequencies of sensitization probably represent minimum figures. Regulation of exposure needs to be considered in order to prevent primary sensitization and disease recurrences in those already sensitized.
National Allergy Research Centre, Department of Dermato-Allergology, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, University of Copenhagen, Niels Andersens Vej 65, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark. firstname.lastname@example.org
It was recently shown that filaggrin gene (FLG) null mutations are positively associated with nickel sensitization. We have hypothesized that histidine-rich filaggrin proteins in the epidermis chelate nickel ions and prevent their skin penetration and exposure to Langerhans cells. Furthermore, we have proposed that the low degree of genetic predisposition to nickel sensitization found by a Danish twin study was explained by a high prevalence of ear piercing among participants resulting in 'bypassing' of the filaggrin proteins.
To investigate the association between FLG null mutations and (nickel) contact sensitization.
A random sample of 3335 adults from the general population in Denmark was patch tested and genotyped for R501X and 2282del4 in the FLG gene.
The combined carrier frequency of FLG null mutations was 8·1%. Nickel, fragrance and contact sensitization to at least one allergen were not associated with FLG null mutations. A crude analysis on women who did not have ear piercings revealed a positive association between FLG null mutations and nickel sensitization [8·3% vs. 2·4%; odds ratio (OR) 3·71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·73-18·96] as well as between FLG null mutations and allergic nickel dermatitis (8·3% vs. 1·3%; OR 6·75, 95% CI 1·17-38·91). FLG mutation status and atopic dermatitis were positively associated with neomycin or ethylenediamine sensitization.
This study suggests that FLG null mutations may be a risk factor for the development of nickel sensitization. However, ear piercing was a much stronger risk factor in our general population and we could therefore identify a positive association only in women without ear piercings. Contact sensitization to specific chemicals is related to treatment exposure.
Fifty-seven breast cancers were diagnosed among indigenous Greenlandic women from 1950 to 1974. An additional 22 cases registered between 1975 and 1979 represent a minimum number and were only used as basis for minimum incidence rates. Changes in age-adjusted rate, age-specific incidence pattern, and relative risk were consistent with an upward shift from a population of low risk between 1950 and 1969 to one of intermediate risk from 1970 onward, a finding that relates well to increased urbanization and westernization. The risk of breast cancer in Greenland may be associated with consumption of saturated fats but is seemingly not correlated to total fat intake which has always been on a par with high-risk Danish levels. An association with diet may in reality have been stronger than suggested but weakened by a counterbalancing effect of high fertility, especially in the youngest age groups. Evaluation of histological features and survival did not suggest differences which could favorably compare with findings in white population groups contrary to reported results from the population of Japan, also one of low risk and of mongoloid origin. Further studies should consider dietary intakes, endocrine variations, and breast fluid secretion with special attention to girls at the age of menarche.
Cancer incidence data for Circumpolar Inuit populations were developed and compiled from Greenland, Canada and Alaska from 1969 to 1988 to provide the largest possible base of data for documenting the unusual patterns of cancer previously reported for these populations. Cancer incidence and population data were transferred to the Danish Cancer Registry. Coded information from various ICD-classifications and codes for the basis of diagnosis were transformed to one format, enabling joint analysis. Standard descriptive analysis was carried out with presentation of number of cases, crude incidence rates (CR), age-standardized rates (world) (ASR), cumulative rates to age 64 years, and indirectly standardized ratios (SIR) to the populations of Connecticut (USA), Canada and Denmark. The resulting database can be used to support collaborative international research among the Inuit populations.
The results of an international, collaborative study of cancer in Circumpolar Inuit in Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Russia are summarized. A total of 3 255 incident cancers were diagnosed from 1969 to 1988 among 85 000-110 000 individuals. Indirect standardization (SIR) based on comparison populations in Connecticut (USA), Canada and Denmark showed excess risk of cancer of the lung, nasopharynx, salivary glands, gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts in both sexes, of liver and stomach cancer in men, and renal and cervical cancer in women. Low risk was observed for cancer of the bladder, breast, endometrium and prostate, and for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, leukaemia, multiple myeloma and melanoma. Age-standardized incidence rates (ASRs) of cancer of lung, cervix, nasopharynx and salivary glands among Inuit were among the world's highest as were rates in women of oesophageal and renal cancer. Regional differences in ASRs within the Circumpolar area were observed for cancer of the cervix, lung, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder and breast. The differences in the Inuit cancer incidence pattern to some extent reflect known variations in lifestyle, diet and other exposures, as well as implementation of cancer control measures. Future research addressing possible individual differences are needed to evaluate environmental and genetic factors in etiology and evaluate intervention studies.
The cancer pattern among Inuit in the Circumpolar area have shown marked differences to other populations in the world. The current paper summarises important risk factors in Greenland, including the physical environment, diet, alcohol, tobacco and other lifestyle factors. Details on population structure and history, health care and cancer registration are also included. This information is important for the interpretation of the incidence pattern for the Circumpolar Inuit collectively and for the understanding of differences between the various Inuit populations of the North.
Cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, gallbladder, biliary tract and pancreas was studied in the Inuit populations of Alaska, Canada and Greenland. Indirect standardization to the populations in Canada, Connecticut (USA) and Denmark was used. High risk of oesophageal cancer was observed in both sexes with standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) of up to 7. An increased risk of colon and rectum cancer occurred among Alaskan Inuit compared with the Inuit populations in Canada and Greenland, which had lower rates. Liver and gallbladder cancer rates were high, with SIRs of 1.5 to 4.1, whereas there were no differences in pancreatic cancer in the populations compared. Dietary habits, alcohol and tobacco consumption are believed to play an important role in most of the observed cancer patterns, but for liver cancer hepatitis B virus infection is also believed to have a causal role.