SCIT ("allergy shots") linked to lower of incidence of autoimmune disease, ischemic heart disease, and mortality

Subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy (SCIT) is a well-documented treatment of IgE-mediated allergic disease with 100-year history. However, little is known about potential effects of SCIT on the risk of other chronic immune-related diseases.

Researchers from Denmark investigated the association of SCIT with the incidence of autoimmune disease and ischemic heart disease (IHD), and all-cause mortality.

All Danish citizens were followed through central registries on medications and hospital admissions during the 10-year study period. The study compared mortality and development of autoimmune diseases, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and IHD in:

- persons receiving SCIT
- persons receiving conventional allergy treatment (CAT; nasal steroids or oral antihistamines)

Receiving SCIT was associated with:

- lower mortality (HR, 0.71)
- lower incidence of AMI (HR, 0.70)
- lower incidence of IHD (HR, 0.88). History of allergy is an independent predictor of major adverse cardiac events after coronary angioplasty
- lower incidence of autoimmune disease (HR, 0.86)

Receiving SCIT compared with conventional allergy treatment (nasal steroids or oral antihistamines) was associated with lower risk of autoimmune disease and AMI, as well as decreased all-cause mortality.

Mechanisms of allergen-specific immunotherapy (click to enlarge the image). CD27 expression on allergen-specific T cells may be a new surrogate for successful allergen-specific immunotherapy (JACI, 2012).


Association of subcutaneous allergen-specific immunotherapy with incidence of autoimmune disease, ischemic heart disease, and mortality. Linneberg A, Jacobsen RK, Jespersen L, Abildstrøm SZ. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Oct 15.

Image source:, public domain.

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