OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of skin prick test (SPT) reactivity to common aeroallergens among Malaysian asthmatic patients with and without rhinitis.
METHODOLOGY: An SPT using eight aeroallergens (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, cat fur, cockroach, Acacia sp., Bermuda grass, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger) was performed on 206 asthmatic patients.
RESULTS: One hundred and forty patients (68%) were reactive to at least one of the aeroallergens. Among the SPT-positive patients, a positive prick test reaction to the house dust mites, D. pteronyssinus (93.6%), and D. farinae (81.4%) was most common, followed by cat fur (20.0%), cockroach (7.9%), Bermuda grass (7.9%), Acacia sp. (7.9%), A. fumigatus (0.7%) and A. niger (0.7%). A history of rhinitis was elicited in 111 (53.9%) patients and 95 (85.3%) of these patients were SPT-positive compared with only 45 (47.4%) of 95 patients with asthma symptoms alone (P < 0.001). The presence of rhinitis and a young age of onset of asthma were independent factors for positive SPT reaction to at least one of the aeroallergens.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of SPT reactivity to common aeroallergens is high among Malaysian asthmatics, particularly in those with an early age of onset and in those with coexisting rhinitis.
Study site: Asthma Clinic, University of Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.