Atopic disease and immunoglobulin E in twins reared apart and together

Bruce Hanson, Matthew McGue, Beatrice Roitman-Johnson, Nancy L. Segal, Thomas J. Bouchard, M. N. Blumenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Both genetic and environmental influences have been implicated in the etiology of atopic disease and in the determination of serum IgE levels. To quantify the relative contribution of these influences, we studied the prevalence of asthma and seasonal rhinitis, skin-test response, total serum IgE levels, and specific IgE, as measured by RAST, in a sample of MZ and DZ twins reared apart or together. Concordance rates for asthma, rhinitis, positive skin tests, and RAST were calculated. MZ twins, whether reared apart or together, showed a greater concordance than dizygotic twins reared apart or together. Maximum-likelihood tests of genetic and environmental components of the variation of total IgE levels revealed a substantial genetic component and a negligible contribution from common familial environmental effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)873-879
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1991
Externally publishedYes


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