To be presented at the EAACI 2004: XXIII Congress of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Amsterdam, 12-16 June 2004

High prevalence of atopy and contact sensitisation among Polish rural youths

R Spiewak, N M Stojek

Instytut Medycyny Wsi, Occupational Biohazards, Lublin, Poland


Rural youths are generally thought to be at low risk for allergy. This study suggests, however, that this is not always true.


The study was carried out in 5 agricultural schools located in rural areas, all distanced at least 100 km from each other. In each school, one class was invited to participate. Altogether 135 students (73 women and 62 men), aged 18-19 years were tested (participation rate 88%). Skin prick tests included 16 aeroallergens relevant for this population. For the detection of contact sensitivity, patch tests with 10 most common contact allergens were carried out. Serologic markers of atopy were: positive Phadiatop and elevated total IgE (> 120 kU/l).


Any allergic reaction (positive SPT, patch test and/or Phadiatop) was found in 49.6% of the population, with the 95%-confidence interval (95%CI) ranging from 41.2% to 58.1%. When elevated total IgE level was also included into analyses, the percentage increased up to 55.6% (95%CI: 47.2-63.9%). Data on individual markers are shown in Table 1. Allergens that most frequently caused positive reactions on skin prick tests are listed in Table 2. Table 3 shows the results of patch tests. There was no correlation between the presence of atopy and contact sensitivity.


Allergic reactions can be detected in every second young adult from rural areas in Poland.

Table 1. Markers of allergy among rural youths in Poland.

MarkerSPT (+)Phadiatop (+)IgE > 120 kU/lPatch test (+)

Table 2. Most frequent positive reactions on skin prick tests.

AllergenL. destructorA. siroD. pteronyssinusGrain dustHay dust

Table 3. Positive patch test reactions.

AllergenThimerosalNickelCobaltChromiumFragrance mix

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