Atopy is defined as the genetic propensity to develop immunoglobulin E antibodies in response to exposure to allergens and assessed by skin prick test (SPT) responses to common allergens, which may contribute to the development of the clinical disorders (phenotype). Although it is generally agreed that atopy is an important risk factor for allergic diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, and eczema, the extent to which atopy accounts for these diseases is controversial. One hundred forty one children (up to 12 years) were skin prick tested to evaluate 16 foods common to the Malaysian diet and 4 common aeroallergens. Eighty-five percent of patients had positive SPT reactivity. The most commonly implicated aeroallergen and food allergen was house dust mite (HDM) and Prawn. Seventy percent had positive SPT reactivity results to HDM and 24.8% to prawns. Fifty five percent were positive to more than one allergen and 17.7% positive to single aeroallergen. The prevalence of atopy in children with history of eczema was 90%. The incidence of HDM and food allergy especially crabs and prawns, is significantly greater in Malaysian Children with rhinitis symptoms.
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