Blood eosinophil count in the general population: typical values and potential confounders

S. Hartl*, M.K. Breyer, O.C. Burghuber, A. Ofenheimer, A. Schrott, M.H. Urban, A. Agusti, M. Studnicka, E.F.M. Wouters, R. Breyer-Kohansal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

There is growing interest in blood eosinophil counts in the management of chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Despite this, typical blood eosinophil levels in the general population, and the impact of potential confounders on these levels have not been clearly defined.

We measured blood eosinophil counts in a random sample of 11 042 subjects recruited from the general population in Austria. We then: 1) identified factors associated with high blood eosinophil counts (>75th percentile); and 2) excluded subjects with these factors to estimate median blood eosinophil counts in a "healthy" sub-population (n=3641).

We found that: 1) in the entire cohort, age

Median blood eosinophil counts in adults are considerably lower than those currently regarded as normal, do not change with age beyond puberty, but are significantly influenced by a variety of factors which have an additive effect. These observations will contribute to the interpretation of blood eosinophil levels in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1901874
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Keywords

  • age
  • airway inflammation
  • exacerbations
  • obstructive pulmonary-disease
  • spirometry
  • spiromics
  • systemic inflammation
  • AIRWAY INFLAMMATION
  • SPIROMETRY
  • SPIROMICS
  • SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION
  • OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY-DISEASE
  • EXACERBATIONS
  • AGE

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