American Journal of Rhinology, Volume 17, Number 3, May-June 2003 , pp. 159-162(4)
Abstract or Table of Contents
Background: Few studies have examined the relationship between subject-reported allergy and results of allergy skin testing in large unselected or unbiased cohorts. The objective of this study was to compare the results of self-reported allergy via verbal questioning with the results of allergy skin testing by the puncture method in 237 healthy adult subjects enrolled in a common cold study. Methods: On enrollment, all subjects were verbally asked if they had a history of allergy and then underwent puncture skin testing to 19 relevant aeroallergens, as well as appropriate positive and negative controls. A skin test was considered positive if its wheal diameter was at least 3 mm larger than that obtained with the negative control. Results: Forty-eight (20%) subjects reported a history of allergy and 124 (52%) subjects had at least one positive skin test response. A history of allergy was reported in 40 (32%) of the skin test-positive subjects and 8 (7%) of the skin testFrom negative subjects. At least one positive skin test response was found in 40 (83%) of those subjects reporting a history of allergy and 84 (44%) of those subjects denying a history of allergy. Conclusion: These data indicate that there is a relatively poor correlation between self-reported history of allergy and skin test results in subjects enrolled in a common cold study. These results have implications in both clinical practice and research settings.