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ISRN Allergy
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 170989, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Principal Components Analysis of Atopy-Related Traits in a Random Sample of Children

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, 2400 Copenhagen, Denmark

Received 4 April 2011; Accepted 27 May 2011

Academic Editors: C. Penido and A. Petraroli

Copyright © 2011 Simon Francis Thomsen and Vibeke Backer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To study the relationship between atopy-related traits in a random sample of children. Methods. A total of 1007 randomly selected children, 7–17 years of age, from Copenhagen, Denmark were studied. The children were interviewed about symptoms of atopic diseases, and skin test reactivity, serum total IgE, lung function, and airway responsiveness were measured. Principal components analysis was performed in order to examine the relationship between the different traits. Results. Most of the studied traits were significantly correlated. A three-component solution explained about 55% of the variation in the observed traits. The first component loaded most strongly on hay fever, serum total IgE, skin test reactivity and sensitisation to grass, cat and house dust mite allergen; the second factor was most associated with asthma, airway obstruction, and airway hyperresponsiveness, whereas the third factor corresponded most strongly to atopic dermatitis. There was some indication of cross-relations between the three components with respect to serum total IgE. Conclusion. Asthma, hay fever, and atopic dermatitis are characterised by different sets of biomarkers suggestive of a high degree of heterogeneity within the atopic syndrome.