Relation between objective measures of atopy and myocardial infarction in the United States

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Feb;131(2):405-11.e1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.06.033. Epub 2012 Aug 24.


Background: Although rodent studies indicate that atherosclerosis is a T(H)1-mediated disease and that atopic T(H)2 immunity is atheroprotective, findings in humans are conflicting. Total IgE (tIgE) is associated with atherosclerotic disease but has limited specificity for atopy.

Objective: Our aim was to determine the relation between atopy, as indicated by a broad panel of serum allergen-specific IgE (sIgE), and past myocardial infarction (MI) in a sample representative of the US population.

Methods: Data were analyzed from 4002 participants aged ≥ 20 years from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Results: Subjects reporting a history of MI had lower summed sIgE (5.51 vs 7.71 kU/L; P < .001) and were less likely to have ≥ 1 positive sIgE test (29.9% vs 44.6%; P = .02) or current hay fever (3.3% vs 7.6%; P = .002). After adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, family history of MI, smoking, total/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, and C-reactive protein, the odds ratio (OR) for MI was 0.91 (95% CI, 0.85-0.97) per positive sIgE; 0.70 (95% CI, 0.57-0.85) per 2-fold increase in sum[sIgE]; and 0.82 (95% CI, 0.69-0.98) per 10% increase in the ratio of sum[sIgE] to tIgE. Analysis with 7 data-driven, prespecified allergen clusters found that house dust mite is the only allergen cluster for which sIgE is associated with reduced odds for MI (fully adjusted OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.20-0.64).

Conclusion: Serum sIgE is inversely related to MI in the US population in a manner independent of multiple coronary risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / immunology*
  • Nutrition Surveys / methods
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pyroglyphidae / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / blood
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E