Effect modification by gender and smoking status on the association between obesity and atopic sensitization in Chinese adults: a hospital-based case–control study

Xiao Luo, Yupeng Wang, Zhiqiang Wang, Xiao-hua Zhou, Jing Zhao, Jianing Suo, Xiaohui Dong, Meina Liu

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Abstract

Background: There is an ongoing debate on the potential association between obesity and atopy. However, no previous studies have investigated whether this relationship depends on sex and smoking status in Chinese adults.

Methods: In this hospital-based, case–control study, we recruited 1150 atopic cases aged 18 years or older and 1245 healthy control participants during April 2009 and December 2012 in Harbin, China. We conducted structured questionnaire interviews, anthropometry measurements and serum allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) testing. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to explore the relationship between obesity and atopy risk stratified by sex and smoking status.

Results: There was an association between obesity and an increased risk of atopic sensitization after adjusting for age, educational, family history, smoking and alcohol consumption (OR: 2.61, 3.25; 95% CI: 1.57-4.33,1.91-5.56 in males and females, respectively). The association between BMI and allergic sensitization depended on smoking status. In both genders, the association of obesity with atopic sensitization risk was stronger in non-smokers than in current smokers. In males, ORs of atopic sensitization for obesity were 3.15 (95% CI, 1.46-6.68) for non-smokers and 2.22 (95% CI, 1.10-4.48) for current smokers. The corresponding ORs in females were 3.51 (95% CI, 1.98-6.24) and 2.22 (95% CI, 0.46-10.68) for non-smokers and current smokers, respectively. After excluding those subjects who with pre-existing allergic conditions, the same relationship still remained.

Conclusions: Obesity is positively and significantly associated with the risk of atopy in both men and women as well in both smokers and non-smokers in China. In addition, the relationship between obesity and atopic sensitization is stronger in non-smokers than in current smokers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1105
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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