Environmental Disease

: 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 134--141

Disease comorbidities associated with chemical intolerance

Raymond F Palmer, Tatjana Walker, Roger B Perales, Rodolfo Rincon, Carlos Roberto Jaén, Claudia S Miller 
 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA

Correspondence Address:
Raymond F Palmer
7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX

Background: Chemical intolerance (CI) is characterized by multisystem symptoms initiated by a one-time high-dose or a persistent low-dose exposure to environmental toxicants. Prior studies have investigated symptom clusters rather than defined comorbid disease clusters. We use a latent class modeling approach to determine the number and type of comorbid disease clusters associated with CI. Methods: Two hundred respondents with and without CI were recruited to complete the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI), and a 17-item comorbid disease checklist. A logistic regression model was used to predict the odds of comorbid disease conditions between groups. A latent class analysis was used to inspect the pattern of dichotomous item responses from the 17 comorbid diseases. Results: Those with the highest QEESI scores had significantly greater probability of each comorbid disease compared to the lowest scoring individuals (P < 0.0001). Three latent class disease clusters were found. Class 1 (17% of the sample) was characterized by a cluster consisting of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), arthritis, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. The second class (53% of the sample) was characterized by a low probability of any of the co-morbid diseases. The third class (30% of the sample) was characterized only by allergy. Discussion: We have demonstrated that several salient comorbid diseases form a unique statistical cluster among a subset of individuals with CI. Understanding these disease clusters may help physicians and other health care workers to gain a better understanding of individuals with CI. As such, assessing their patients for CI may help identify the salient initiators and triggers of their CI symptoms—therefore guide potential treatment efforts.

How to cite this article:
Palmer RF, Walker T, Perales RB, Rincon R, Jaén CR, Miller CS. Disease comorbidities associated with chemical intolerance.Environ Dis 2021;6:134-141

How to cite this URL:
Palmer RF, Walker T, Perales RB, Rincon R, Jaén CR, Miller CS. Disease comorbidities associated with chemical intolerance. Environ Dis [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Mar 30 ];6:134-141
Available from: http://www.environmentmed.org/article.asp?issn=2468-5690;year=2021;volume=6;issue=4;spage=134;epage=141;aulast=Palmer;type=0