The clinical features and cutaneous hypersensitivity to skin prick tests were studied in 64 asthmatic patients in General Hospital, Kandy (Sri Lanka). The onset of asthma was mostly in adult life; associated atopic disease and family history of allergy were less frequent when compared with asthmatics in industrialised countries in the temperate zone. In these respects the clinical pattern of asthma in our study resembles that described in other tropical countries. Cutaneous hypersensitivity to one or more of the 10 allergens tested was observed in 75% of asthmatics and 55% of non-asthmatic controls. Although there was a higher incidence of associated allergic disorders, family history of allergy and the onset of asthma before the age of 10 years in the skin test positive group when compared with the skin test negative group of asthmatics, this difference was not statistically significant.
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