September 07, 2015
1 min read

Higher reported cat dander sensitization rate may explain asthma prevalence in IBS patients

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Reports of sensitization to cat dander were found to be higher among patients with IBS, which may explain the high prevalence of asthma in this population, according to data presented at the AGA’s 2015 James W. Freston Conference in Chicago.

Aiming to explore the relationship between aeroallergens and IBS, researchers from Singapore recruited 87 consecutive patients (48 female) referred to an allergy clinic. They completed questionnaires, skin prick tests and venipuncture to test allergic symptoms, food and aeroallergen sensitization and potential occult parasitic infections.

Overall, 26.4% of patients had asthma, 74.7% had allergic rhinitis, 42.5% had atopic eczema and 41.4% met Rome III criteria for IBS (5 patients had constipation-predominant IBS, 11 had diarrhea-predominant IBS, 15 had mixed IBS and 5 had unsubtyped IBS).

The researchers observed a significant association between IBS and cat dander sensitization based on positive skin prick tests to cat dander and specific IgE cat protein Fel d 1 (P < .05). Patients with asthma, pet owners and patients with positive skin prick tests to dog allergens were significantly more likely to have IBS, while patients with allergic rhinitis, eczema and food allergy were not.

Multivariate analyses showed asthma was independently associated with IBS (OR = 7.2; 95% CI, 1.7-29.9) and cat sensitization based on positive skin prick tests was independently associated with IBS (OR = 8.4; 95% CI, 1.7-41.3).

“IBS subjects reported a high cat dander sensitization rate, suggesting a plausible explanation of high asthma prevalence in IBS subjects,” the researchers wrote. “It is important to explore the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms and potential therapeutic options.” – by Adam Leitenberger


Siah KTH, et al. Presented at: James W. Freston Conference; August 29-30, 2015; Chicago.

Disclosure: Healio Gastroenterology was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.