A previous study revealed an increased occurrence of work-related respiratory complaints among Swedish woodwork teachers. For determination of whether an IgE-mediated mechanism was the cause of the symptoms, 127 woodwork teachers and 111 reference subjects (other school personnel) in Stockholm gave serum for analysis of total IgE, Phadiatop, and RAST to extract of sawdust from five commonly used Scandinavian woods (pine, birch, juniper, alder, and linden). The total serum-IgE level was similar in the woodwork teachers (geometric mean 35, range
Allergic and autoimmune diseases have been suggested to be inversely associated. We investigated the association between atopy and development of any and specific types of autoimmune disease.
We included a total of 14,849 individuals from five population-based studies with measurements of atopy defined as specific IgE positivity against inhalant allergens. We followed the participants by linkage to the Danish National Patient Register (median follow-up time 11.2 years). Hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of autoimmune disease were estimated by Cox regression.
We found no statistically significant associations between atopy and autoimmune disease, but we cannot exclude relatively small to moderate effects - protective or promotive - of atopy on autoimmune disease.