A potential protective effect of allergic diseases on serum lipid levels was identified in results from a study published in Frontiers in Medicine. In a biobank-based study of adult patients in the UK, both asthma and atopic dermatitis (AD) were found to be inversely correlated with total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These findings provide insight into the management of allergic diseases and the prevention of elevated serum lipid levels, the study authors suggest. 

Serum lipids, including cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein (LDL), and high density lipoprotein (HDL), are known factors in the pathogenesis of certain inflammatory diseases, they allowed. However, the precise relationship between atopic diseases and serum lipid levels remains unclear. To inform this gap, investigators conducted a cross-sectional study based on data extracted from the UK Biobank, a population-based cohort which comprises sociodemographic, laboratory, and genotyping data from participants in England, Scotland, and Wales. Multivariable linear regression models were performed to examine the associations between asthma/AD and different serum lipids. Further, a 2-sample Mendelian randomization analysis was used to confirm the potential causal relationship.

 The present analysis used data from 502,505 UK Biobank participants. The mean age was 56.6 years; 52.7% were women and 81.5% were White. Overall, 13,822 participants had a diagnosis of AD, 67,896 had a diagnosis of asthma, and 3,071 had both disorders. In linear regression models adjusted for sociodemographic factors and additional laboratory parameters, AD was significantly negatively associated with triglyceride (P =.006), LDL (P <.001) and total cholesterol levels (P <.001), although not HDL levels (P =.794). Asthma was also negatively correlated with triglyceride, LDL, and total cholesterol levels (all P <.001), but was positively associated with HDL (P <.001). Results from the Mendelian randomization analysis confirmed these findings for the investigators, with asthma displaying a genetic causal effect on total cholesterol and LDL.


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These data challenge prior studies which suggest allergic diseases may contribute to serum lipid dysregulation, it was noted. However, the researchers suggest further research is necessary to better understand the pathogenesis of atopic diseases, particularly as they relate to lipid metabolism.

“Collectively, we identify a protective causal effect of allergic diseases on serum lipids,” investigators wrote. “[T]his study will provide a robust evidence for the management of asthma and AD and the prevention of dyslipidemia.”

Reference

Tang Z, Shen M, Xiao Y, Liu H, Chen X. Association between atopic dermatitis, asthma, and serum lipids: a UK biobank based observational study and Mendelian randomization analysis. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022;9:810092. doi:10.3389/fmed.2022.810092.