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Oilseed rape production is widespread in East Anglia. Many patients attending our rhinology clinic for seasonal allergy claim that they are allergic to it.
To determine the prevalence of oil-seed rape allergy in our population.
General population attending a rhinology and allergy clinic in an East Anglian district general hospital, UK.
Retrospective chart analysis. The results of 1475 consecutive patients who underwent skin prick allergy testing over a 2-year period were analysed.
Allergy to grass pollen was found to be most common (n=375, 25.1%) followed by house dust mite (n=373, 25%) and cereals (n=301, 20.1%). Oilseed rape allergy was relatively uncommon, comprising only 1.89% of the population tested (n=28).
Despite the abundance of oil-seed rape in our geographical region, it does not seem to be responsible for most of our cases of seasonal allergy. Other environmental factors may be contributory.