Abstract 863: Common Allergic Symptoms and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease
Introduction: Allergic diseases are recognized as systemic inflammatory states, which may affect coronary artery atherosclerosis unfavorably.
Hypothesis: This study aims to investigate whether there is an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) among those with common allergic symptoms.
Methods: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III is a stratified probability sample of the U.S. population conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics during 1988 –1994. CHD was defined by ‘Rose’ questionnaire and/or with a history of heart attack. Out of 16,573 adults aged ≥20 who finished the interview and examination, a total of 8,651 subjects who did not have missing values were included in this study. These 8,651 subjects were divided into 3 groups based on allergic symptoms;
No symptoms (NO);
rhinitis/conjunctivitis without wheezing (RC);
rhinitis/conjunctivitis with wheezing (WZ).
Multivariate logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios (ORs) of CHD according to the existence of allergic symptoms after adjusting for other possible confounding variables considering complicated sampling methods and weights.
Results: Among 8,651 subjects, 5.9% had CHD. 36.5% had no allergic symptoms (NO), 45.9% had RC, and 17.6% had WZ. The prevalence of CHD was 4.0% in NO, 4.8% in RC and 12.8% in WZ (p<0.001). Unadjusted ORs for CHD was 1.24 (95% CI: 0.94 –1.63, p=0.129) in RC and 3.58 (2.66 – 4.82, p<0.001) in WZ as compared to NO. When controlled for age, sex, race, level of education, household income, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, C-reactive protein, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, low HDL-C, hypercholesterolemia, current smoking, alcohol drinking, and physical activity, adjusted ORs were 1.37 (1.00 –1.88, p=0.049) in RC and 3.04 (2.08 – 4.44, p<0.001) in WZ, respectively. The association was stronger among females than males with adjusted ORs in RC and WZ being 1.79 (1.08 –2.96, p=0.024) and 4.19 (2.43–7.25, p<0.001) respectively in females and 1.15 (0.75–1.76, p=0.508) and 2.28 (1.28 – 4.07, p=0.006) in males.
Conclusion: Common allergic symptoms, including allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis were significantly associated with an increased risk of CHD and this association was stronger in females.