History of Allergic Disease and Risk of Meningioma

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Epidemiologic studies have consistently shown inverse associations of allergic disease with risk of glioma, but it is unclear whether this association also applies to meningioma. The authors conducted a pooled analysis of meningioma risk in relation to a history of allergic disease based on data from two population-based, case-control studies with 475 cases and 1,716 controls in the United Kingdom (2001–2004). Meningioma risk was significantly reduced in relation to self-reported, physician-diagnosed allergic disease (odds ratio=0.76, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.61, 0.96) but was nonsignificantly reduced for individual conditions: asthma (odds ratio=0.85, 95% CI: 0.61, 1.18), hay fever (odds ratio=0.81, 95% CI: 0.62, 1.06), and eczema (odds ratio=0.72, 95% CI: 0.51, 1.02). Risk reductions were greatest for asthma (odds ratio=0.43, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.89) and hay fever (odds ratio=0.50, 95% CI: 0.25, 1.00) with an early age at onset (<10 years) and for eczema (odds ratio=0.46, 95% CI: 0.21, 1.07) with an onset at ages 10–19 years; they were near unity for onset in adulthood. This study suggests an inverse association between a history of allergies and meningioma risk, but with smaller risk reductions than for glioma. The reasons for this association need clarification, as well as an etiologic explanation. Consideration also needs to be given to confounding or bias.

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