In this study, we have assessed the relationship between IgE-mediated and cell-mediated hypersensitivities in an unselected population living in western Copenhagen, Denmark. A total of 793 subjects, aged 15-69 years, were studied. Measurements of total serum IgE, prick tests with aero-allergens and patch tests with environmental haptens were performed in 561 (70.7% of 793) subjects. One or more positive prick tests were present in 28.4%, and contact sensitization occurred in 15.2%. When adjusted for the effects of sex and age, the probability of contact sensitization to one or more hapten was independent of serum IgE level (the odds ratio value (OR) = 1.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.7-1.4), and the probability of contact sensitization was independent of the number of positive prick tests (OR = 1.0; CI = 0.8-1.2). Contact sensitization appeared to be independent of enhanced IgE responsiveness in an unselected adult population.