The relationship between cord blood immunoglobulin E levels and allergy-related outcomes in young adults

Purvee S. Shah, Ganesa Wegienka, Suzanne Havstad, Christine Cole Johnson, Dennis R. Ownby, Edward M. Zoratti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Elevated cord blood IgE may be associated with a higher risk of allergic disease. Objective: To determine whether cord blood IgE is associated with allergic biomarkers or allergic disorders in young adults. Methods: Data was collected from 670 subjects 18-21 years of age that were among 835 original participants in the Detroit Childhood Allergy Study, a general risk, population-based birth cohort. Cord blood IgE was assessed in relation to biomarkers associated with allergy and asthma including total IgE, allergen-specific IgE, blood eosinophilia, and spirometry. Cord blood IgE was also analyzed for associations to subsequent allergic disease including atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. Results: Cord blood IgE, analyzed as a continuous measure, was modestly correlated with total IgE (r = 0.18, P < .001) and higher cord IgE was associated with a higher likelihood of sensitization to common allergens in young adults (OR = 1.18, 95% CI, 1.02-1.37; P = .031). The relationship between cord IgE and sensitization was stronger among teens with no pet exposure in the first year of life (OR = 1.43, 95% CI, 1.16-1.77; P = .001). No relationship was found between cord IgE and blood eosinophil counts or lung function. In addition, no consistent association of cord blood IgE to asthma, allergic rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis was apparent. Conclusions: An elevated cord blood IgE level modestly correlates with elevated total IgE and is associated with a slightly higher likelihood of allergic sensitization among young adults. However, cord IgE is not a strong predictor of clinical allergic disorders in this age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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