Increased Risk of Serious Pneumococcal Disease in Patients With Atopic Conditions Other Than Asthma

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Jan;125(1):217-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.10.045.


Background: We reported an increased risk of serious pneumococcal disease (SPD) among patients with asthma. It is not known whether this is true for patients with other atopic conditions.

Objective: To determine the relationship between atopic conditions other than asthma and SPD.

Methods: The study subjects were residents of Rochester, Minn, who developed SPD between 1964 and 1983 and their 2 sex-matched and age-matched controls. We used a population-based computer-linked medical diagnosis system to identify all individuals with potential SPD. All records were reviewed by using explicit predetermined criteria for SPD. All individuals with atopic conditions were identified by the physician diagnoses including atopic dermatitis or eczema, allergic rhinitis, and hay fever documented in medical records. The associations between these atopic conditions and SPD were assessed by using conditional logistic regression.

Results: A total of 3941 records were reviewed, and we identified 174 SPD cases. Of these 174 cases, 50.6% were male, and 94.3% were Caucasian. Twenty-six (14.9%) of the SPD cases and 29 (8.3%) of the controls had atopy. Atopic conditions other than asthma were associated with an increased risk of SPD (odds ratio, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.04-4.35; P = .04) after adjusting for smoking status, previous high-risk conditions for SPD, educational status, and ethnicity.

Conclusion: Like asthma, other atopic conditions, particularly atopic dermatitis, are associated with an increased risk of SPD. There may be a common immunogenetic mechanism underlying increased risk of SPD among individuals with either asthma or other atopic conditions. Our study findings need to be studied further.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asthma* / complications
  • Asthma* / diagnosis
  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / complications
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate* / complications
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate* / diagnosis
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate* / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal* / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult