Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Aug;124(2):323-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.05.028. Epub 2009 Jun 27.

Food allergy and food allergy attitudes among college students.

Author information

1
Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of Michigan Health Systems, Ann Arbor, Mich 48106, USA. mgreenha@med.umich.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little information is known about food allergy among college students.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to assess food allergy trends and behavioral attitudes on a large university campus.

METHODS:

An online survey was distributed by e-mail to local university undergraduate students. Symptom severity was determined based on previously published criteria for anaphylaxis.

RESULTS:

A total of 513 individuals responded, with 57% reporting an allergic reaction to food. Of this group, 36.2% reported symptoms consistent with anaphylaxis, and these reactions frequently occurred while enrolled. Allergy to milk (P = .032), tree nut (P < .0001), shellfish (P < .0001), and peanut (P < .0001) was significantly associated with having symptoms of anaphylaxis. Some form of emergency medication was reportedly maintained in 47.7%, including self-injectable epinephrine (SIE; 21%), although only 6.6% reported always carrying this device. Medication maintenance was significantly lower among students who had not had a reaction while enrolled (P < .0001). Only 39.7% reported always avoiding foods to which they were allergic. Within the group that reported intentionally consuming known allergens, there were significantly lower numbers of individuals who reported carrying SIE (P < .0001) and significantly higher numbers of individuals with a history of a reaction that had not resulted in symptoms of anaphylaxis (P = .026).

CONCLUSION:

Potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions to foods are occurring on college campuses. Only 39.7% of students with food allergy avoided a self-identified food allergen, and more than three fourths did not maintain SIE. Such behaviors might place these students at increased risk for adverse events.

PMID:
19560802
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaci.2009.05.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center