Evidence from several unrelated animal models and some studies conducted in humans, points to the immunomodulatory effects of androgens on various components of the immune system, especially on allergic disorders. This study evaluated the serum concentrations of sex hormones in women with allergy.
For this purpose, blood samples were obtained from 78 participants in order to detect serum IgE concentrations, total testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, and DHEA-S. The majority of the subjects (54) in the study were consecutive patients with doctor-diagnosed allergic pathologies: 32 with allergic rhinitis, 10 with asthma and rhinitis, and 12 with skin allergies. In addition, 24 healthy volunteers were included in the research as the control group. The average age of the subjects was 32.54 years (SD ± 11.08 years, range between 4-59 years). All participants stated that they had not used any medical treatment to alleviate any of their symptoms prior to taking part in the research.
They all underwent skin-prick tests for common aero-allergens, which was used as criterion for subject selection. Hence, the subjects were selected if they reacted positively to at least one aero-allergen. Their height and weight were measured in order to calculate the BMI.
As a result, statistically significant differences between controls and allergic women in serum concentrations of androgens (testosterone, p = 0.0017; DHEA-S, p = 0.04) were found, which lead to the conclusion that the concentration of total serum testosterone and DHEA-S was lower in female patients with allergic diseases compared to controls.