Cross-sectional comparison of the characteristics of respiratory allergy in immigrants and Italian children

Stefania La Grutta, Mariangela Tosca, Gianluigi Marseglia, Maria Teresa Costantino, Giorgio Walter Canonica, Elena Raffetti, Elena Valvassori, Erminia Ridolo, Stefania La Grutta, Giovani Pajno, Francesco Donato, Massimo Landi, Francesco Marcucci, Alessandro Fiocchi, Giovanni Passalacqua, Carlo Lombardi

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    Abstract

    Background: Immigrants represent a good epidemiological model to evaluate the relative influence of environmental and inherited factors on the development of allergy. Several studies on allergy in adults have been published, but few data in children are available. We aimed to investigate the differences, between Italian and immigrant children, in clinical characteristics of respiratory allergy. Methods: This was a multicentre cross-sectional study involving children born in Italy from Italian parents and children born either in Italy or abroad from immigrants. Children referred firstly for allergic respiratory disease (rhinitis/asthma), with an ascertained clinical diagnosis and IgE sensitization to inhalants, were included. Demographic features, comorbidities, severity of disease, and sensitization profile were compared between Italians and immigrants, separating also those born in Italy from immigrant parents and those born abroad. Results: One hundred and sixty-five immigrant allergic children were enrolled (100 male, mean age 8.3 yr), 128 of whose had both parents immigrated. Italian children were 237 (156 male, mean age 8.4 yr). The Italian and immigrant children were similar, apart from pet's ownership and family size. There was no difference in the severity of rhinitis/asthma between the groups, whereas significant differences were found in the pattern of sensitization: immigrant children were more frequently sensitized to house dust mites (73.3% vs. 51%, respectively; p = 0.002) and less to grass (41.8% vs. 57.8%; p = 0.002); this was retained also in monosensitized children. Immigrant children born in Italy (n = 105) had a lower prevalence of rhinitis vs. Italians (68.3% vs. 87.6%, respectively, p = 0.003) and of sensitization to grass (28.3% vs. 49.5%, respectively, p = 0.008). No difference was found among macro-regions of origin and demographic or clinical features. Conclusions: Immigrant children born either in Italy or abroad did not show significant differences in the clinical pattern of the respiratory allergic disease when compared to children born from Italian parents. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
    Lingua originaleEnglish
    pagine (da-a)473-480
    Numero di pagine8
    RivistaPediatric Allergy and Immunology
    Volume25
    Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology

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    La Grutta, S., Tosca, M., Marseglia, G., Costantino, M. T., Canonica, G. W., Raffetti, E., Valvassori, E., Ridolo, E., Grutta, S. L., Pajno, G., Donato, F., Landi, M., Marcucci, F., Fiocchi, A., Passalacqua, G., & Lombardi, C. (2014). Cross-sectional comparison of the characteristics of respiratory allergy in immigrants and Italian children. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 25, 473-480.