The analysis of a relationship between atopy and contact allergy in the group of patients of the Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health in Sosnowiec

Piotr Z. Brewczynski1, Agata Grudzien2, Elzbieta Kubarek1, Radoslaw Spiewak2,3

1. Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Sosnowiec, Poland
2. Institute of Dermatology, Krakow, Poland
3. Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

Source: Brewczynski PZ, Grudzien A, Kubarek E, Spiewak R. Analiza zwiazku miedzy atopia i alergia kontaktowa w grupie pacjentow Instytutu Medycyny Pracy i Zdrowia Srodowiskowego w Sosnowcu. Int Rev Allergol Clin Immunol Family Med 2012; 18 (4): 180-184. (In Polish)


The relationship between atopy and contact allergy has intrigued researchers all over the world. The inspiration for this task was confligting views on the existence or absence of a relationship between these immune disorders found in the literature. The aim of the study was to confirm or exclude the existence of a connection relationship between the presence of atopy and the presence of contact allergy. Material and methods. This retrospective study performed in the Allergy Outpatient Departments for Children and Adults at the Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health in Sosnowiec involved 115 patients - 91 women and 24 men, aged 11-83 years (median 46). All of the patients underwent skin prick tests with 10 allergen extracts and patch tests with 20 haptens. For the purpose of the present work, positive results of prick tests were considered as a marker of atopy, and positive patch tests as a marker of contact allergy. An attempt was also made to quantify the severity of atopy (independent variable) based on the number of positive skin prick tests. Results. To reject or approve the hypothesis on the lack of the relationship between the occurrence of both immune disorders, nonparametric correlation analysis was performed using the Kendall Tau test, which did not confirm the existence of a statistically significant relationship between atopy and contact allergy. However, in case of severe atopy (3 or more positive skin prick tests), a statistically insignificant trend was observed toward a higher risk of contact allergy. Conclusion. Our results permit to conclude that atopy and contact allergy are independent from each other, therefore, both immune disorders may incidentally coexist in patients.

Keywords: atopy, contact allergy, prick tests, patch tests, risk factors.

Related articles:

  1. Spiewak R. Contact dermatitis in atopic individuals. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2012; 12 (5): 491-497.
  2. Spiewak R. Atopy and contact hypersensitivity: a reassessment of the relationship using objective measures. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2005; 95 (1): 61-65.

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Document created: 1 February 2014, last updated: 4 February 2014.