Prevalence of personal and familial atopy in nickel allergic population: A retrospective study

R. Valsecchi, P. Pigatto, T. Cainelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The prevalence of nickel allergy in the general population is 8% for women and 1% for men, but the prevalence of nickel allergy in patients with atopic dermatitis varies from 7.8% to 50%. The coexistence of atopic dermatitis (AD), hay fever (HF) or bronchial asthma (BA) in families of patients with nickel sensitivity has never been reported in Italy. Therefore, we examined the medical records of 988 patients with nickel allergy, aged 14 to 63 years, for evidence of personal and familial AD, HF and BA and compared with 1000 patients with non-nickel sensitivity. 32.5% of subjects with nickel sensitivity had familial atopic diseases (10/93 AD, 16/93 HF, 13/93 BA). The cumulative prevalences of AD, HF and BA in families of the non-nickel sensitive group were 3/95, 9/95 and 10/95 respectively, which is similar to cumulative prevalences for the general population (2.1%, 8.2% and 10%). To confirm the personal and familial atopy we assayed IgE in our patients and in the relatives of 93 of our patients who also underwent dermatological and allergical examinations. Controls were non-nickel patients and 96 relatives. IgE were higher both in patients and in the relatives of nickel group. The prevalence of both personal and familial atopic disorders was significantly greater in people with contact sensitivity to nickel alone than in the non-nickel allergic and in the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnali Italiani di Dermatologia Clinica e Sperimentale
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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