Total serum IgE levels in a large cohort of patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005 Sep;95(3):247-53. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)61221-5.


Background: Limited data are available on levels of IgE in large cohorts of patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma.

Objective: To examine IgE levels and disease in patients from The Epidemiology and Natural History of Asthma: Outcomes and Treatment Regimens (TENOR) study.

Methods: From January 2001 to October 2001, 4,923 patients were screened for inclusion in the study. Of these, 4,756 patients 6 years or older with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma were enrolled and completed a baseline study visit. Total serum IgE levels were measured at the baseline visit and are summarized by geometric means.

Results: The mean total IgE level of the population is 106.6 IU/mL (95% confidence interval, 101.5-112.0 IU/mL). Children (6-12 years old) and adolescents (13-17 years old) have higher mean IgE levels than adults (> or =18 years old) (P < .001). Males have a higher mean IgE level than females (P < .001). IgE levels are higher among nonwhite patients than white patients (P < .001). Current smokers have higher IgE levels than past smokers or never smokers (P < .001). Among children, patients with severe asthma have a higher mean IgE level (280.2 IU/mL) than patients with moderate (145.8 IU/mL) or mild (137.8 IU/mL) asthma (P < .001). Among adults, patients with childhood-onset asthma have higher IgE levels (124.3 IU/mL [n = 1,348]) than patients with adult-onset asthma (65.7 IU/mL [n = 1,956]) (P < .001).

Conclusion: In patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma from the TENOR study, higher total IgE levels were observed in males, children, smokers, nonwhite racial/ethnic groups, and adults with childhood-onset disease. In addition, IgE levels are associated with asthma severity among younger patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Asthma / blood*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking


  • Immunoglobulin E