Serum IgE levels during the first 6 years of life

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Abstract

Objective

Total serum IgE percentiles were derived for a population-based sample of 4082 white children from Germany by weighted analysis of measurements from the Multicenter Allergy Study cohort.

Methods

The children of a prospective birth cohort were selected from a complete 1-year sample of newborns in 6 obstetric departments in 1990. Total IgE was determined at 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 years of age in 1160 newborns of the cohort. By weighting these measurements for sex, atopic family history, and elevated cord blood IgE, total serum IgE percentiles were estimated for the original population-based sample of 4082 children.

Results

IgE levels increased by age (P < .0001). We found statistically significant higher total IgE values in boys than in girls at each age (P < .05). Within the group of atopic children, this sex difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusion

Our estimates of total serum IgE levels for a large population-based sample were lower than most values previously reported. We suggest that for both clinical and epidemiologic and genetic studies, IgE values should be expressed with percentiles. (J Pediatr 1999;134:453-8)

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