Changing pattern of sensitization in Croatia to aeroallergens in adult population referring to allergy clinic during a period of 15 years

Coll Antropol. 2011 Jun;35(2):529-36.


Published data indicate that during the last decades there is a possible change in the pattern of sensitization to different aeroallergens in adult population with atopy. The aim of this investigation was based on the hypothesis that during last 15 years there has been a change in the structure of prevalence of sensitization to different aeroallergens in adult population of Zagreb and its surroundings with atopy. Medical records from outpatient allergy clinic were screened for the period 1991-2004. We included 794 patients during years 1991-1994, 814 patients during years 1995-1999, and 969 patients during years 2000-2004. Following data were analyzed: age, gender, education level, residence, referral diagnosis, dominant symptoms, results of skin-prick test (SPT), total and specific serum immunoglobulin E. As risk factors for allergic sensitization we determined the decade of birth (p < 0.0001), male gender (p < 0.008), level of education (p < 0.0001), and place of residence (p < 0.05). Proportion of sensitized individuals to pollen significantly increased from the period 1991-1994 towards 2000-2004 (p < 0.001 for the trend) with a significant increase in the proportion of sensitized individuals to weed pollen (p = 0.002 for the trend) while the proportion of sensitized to other two groups of pollen (grasses and trees) was not significantly different. A significant increase in the proportion of sensitized individuals was determined for sensitization to ragweed pollen (p = 0.004 for the trend), and to mugwort (p = 0.005 for the trend). Despite all its limitations primarily based on the selection bias the results of this study are conclusive about the significant change in the proportion of sensitization to different aeroallergens and different pollen groups and individual pollen species during the investigated 15-year time interval.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Allergens