Differences in both prevalence and titre of specific immunoglobulin E among children with asthma in affluent and poor communities within a large town in Ghana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • W. Stevens
  • E. Addo-Yobo
  • J. Roper
  • A. Woodcock
  • H. James
  • And 2 others
  • External authors:
  • T. Platts-Mills
  • A. Custovic


Background Reports from several African countries have noted an increasing prevalence of asthma in areas of extensive urbanization. Objective To investigate the relevance of allergen-specific sensitization and body mass index (BMI) to asthma/wheezing and exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) among children from affluent and poorer communities within a large town in Ghana. Methods Children with physician-diagnosed asthma and/or current wheezing aged 9-16 years (n=99; cases) from three schools with differing socio-economic backgrounds [urban affluent (UA), urban poor (UP) or suburban/rural (SR)] were recruited from a cross-sectional study (n=1848) in Kumasi, Ghana, and matched according to age, sex and area of residence with non-asthmatic/non-wheezy controls. We assayed sera for IgE antibodies to mite, cat, dog, cockroach, Ascaris and galactose-α-1,3-galactose. Results Children from the UA school had the lowest total serum IgE. However, cases from the UA school had a higher prevalence and mean titre of sIgE to mite (71.4%, 21.2IU/mL) when compared with controls (14.3%, 0.8IU/mL) or cases from UP (30%, 0.8IU/mL) and SR community (47.8%, 1.6IU/mL). While similar findings were observed with EIB in the whole population, among cases there was no difference in IgE antibody prevalence or titre between children with or without EIB. BMI was higher among UA children with and without asthma; in UP and SR communities, children with EIB (n=14) had a significantly higher BMI compared with children with asthma/wheezing without EIB (n=38) (18.2 vs. 16.4, respectively, P

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1587-1594
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011