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Immunological Factors Associated with Adult Asthma in the Aseer Region, Southwestern Saudi Arabia

1
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha 61421, Saudi Arabia
2
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
3
Department of Clinical Microbiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha 61421, Saudi Arabia
4
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha 61421, Saudi Arabia
5
Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
6
Department of Epidemiology, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21511, Egypt
7
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Jazan University, Jazan 45142, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2495; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142495
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Abstract

Background: The prevalence of asthma is on the rise in Saudi Arabia. Data regarding the immunological profile of asthma in adults in the Aseer region, in southwestern Saudi Arabia, have not been well studied. Objectives: Our aim was to study the immunological factors associated with sensitization to asthma among adults in the Aseer region. Methods: A cross-sectional study with a nested case control design in a 1:1 ratio was conducted on a sample of adults attending primary health care centers in the Aseer region. The study used a validated Arabic version of the International study of asthma and allergies in childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire. The presence of wheezing in the past 12 months was used as a proxy for bronchial asthma. Matched age and sex controls were selected. Both groups were tested for complete blood count (CBC), total and differential white blood cell (WBC) count including eosinophils, total immunoglobulin E (IgE) measurement, allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE), and cytokine levels. Results: The present study included 110 cases and 157 age- and sex-matched controls. Rye wheat was found to be a significant outdoor sensitizing agent ((odds ratio) OR = 5.23, 95% CI: 1.06–25.69). Indoors, house dust mites Dermatophagoides petronyssinus (OR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.04–3.99) and Dermatophagoides farinae (OR = 2.50, 95% CI: 1.09–5.75) were significant. Higher total IgE (OR = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.10–3.06) and eosinophil levels (OR = 2.85, 95% CI: 1.14–7.15) were significantly associated with adult bronchial asthma in Aseer. On the other hand, the role of cytokines was not significant. Conclusions: In the present study, certain environmental agents were found to be important with regards to sensitization to bronchial asthma in adults. Knowledge about these sensitization agents should be disseminated to health providers and treating physicians in order to enhance preventive environmental control measures and asthma management. Asthma-treating physicians in the region should be alerted to the use of targeted biological therapies in selected asthmatics with difficult-to-control courses. View Full-Text
Keywords: adult asthma; Saudi Arabia; total IgE; eosinophils; allergen-specific IgE adult asthma; Saudi Arabia; total IgE; eosinophils; allergen-specific IgE
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Al-Ghamdi, B.R.; Koshak, E.A.; Omer, F.M.; Awadalla, N.J.; Mahfouz, A.A.; Ageely, H.M. Immunological Factors Associated with Adult Asthma in the Aseer Region, Southwestern Saudi Arabia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2495.

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