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Folate Levels Linked to Markers of Asthma

Last Updated: May 01, 2009.

High blood folate levels are associated with lower levels of markers of allergy, according to a study published online May 1 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- High blood folate levels are associated with lower levels of markers of allergy, according to a study published online May 1 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Elizabeth C. Matsui, M.D., and William Matsui, M.D., from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, analyzed data on serum folate and markers of atopy, wheeze, and asthma from 8,083 individuals at least 2 years old.

After adjusting for possible confounding factors, the researchers found that high serum folate levels were inversely associated with markers of allergic diseases. For the highest quintile versus the lowest quintile of folate, there was a lower likelihood of high total IgE (defined as greater than 100 kU/L; adjusted odds ratio, 0.70), atopy (defined as at least 1 allergen-specific IgE level; adjusted odds ratio, 0.69), and wheeze (adjusted odds ratio, 0.60).

"In summary, higher serum folate levels are associated with lower total IgE levels, and a lower risk of allergic sensitization and wheeze," the authors conclude. "Folic acid status may influence the development and progression of atopy and wheeze."

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