Distribution of IgE in a community population sample: correlations with age, sex, and allergenskin test reactivity

Author(s): Barbee RA, Halonen M, Lebowitz M, Burrows B

Abstract

The distribution of total serum IgE determined by the paper radioimmunosorbent test (PRIST) is examined in a large random stratified community population. Prior to logarithmic conversion the distribution of this immunoglobulin is not normal, with almost 40% of values below 20 IU/ml. A normal distribution occurs following such conversion, with a geometric mean value of 32.1 IU/ml. Both age and sex, in addition to atopic status, relate to IgE level. In both sexes highest levels occur among 6- to 14-year-olds, and males have higher levels than females at any given age. Women over age 75 yr have the lowest levels (geometric mean 9.2 IU/ml). Subjects with positive skin test results have several times the concentration of IgE as their nonatopic counterparts.

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