Geographic and demographic variations of inhalant allergen sensitization in Koreans and non-Koreans

Sang Chul Park, Chi Sang Hwang, Hyo Jin Chung, Munkhbaatar Purev, Salma Saud Al Sharhan, Hyung Ju Cho, Joo Heon Yoon, Chang Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To diagnose and treat respiratory allergic diseases, it is important to identify the specific allergens involved. Many differences exist between common inhalant allergens depending on the residential environment and demographic factors. This study aimed to compare common inhalant allergens between Koreans and non-Koreans according to their residential region, age, and sex. Methods: This study evaluated 15,334 individuals who underwent serum tests for multiple allergen-specific immunoglobulin E at a tertiary academic medical center between January 2010 and December 2016. The individuals included 14,786 Koreans and 548 non-Koreans. The AdvanSure™ Allostation assay (LG Life Science, Korea) was used to test for 33 inhalant allergens. Results: The house dust mite (HDM) was the most common allergen in both Koreans and non-Koreans, although the proportion of individuals with HDM sensitization was greater among Koreans. High sensitization rates for various pollen types were detected among Koreans in Gangwon region, whereas Japanese cedar pollen was unique among Koreans in Jeju region. Grass pollen and animal dander were relatively common among individuals from the Americas, whereas weed and grass pollen accounted for the 10 most common allergens for individuals from Central Asia. The total sensitization rate, sensitization to HDM, and sensitization to animal dander peaked among adolescents and young adults, then subsequently decreased with age. Conclusions: This large-scale study demonstrates that various regional and age-related differences exist in the allergen sensitization rates of Koreans and non-Koreans. These data could be useful for development of avoidance measures, immunotherapy for causative allergens, and policymaking regarding allergic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalAllergology International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Japanese Society of Allergology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy


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