Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Asia Pac Allergy. 2013 Jan;3(1):3-14. doi: 10.5415/apallergy.2013.3.1.3. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Food allergy in Asia: how does it compare?

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics, Khoo Teck Puat National University Children's Medical Institute, National University Hospital, Singapore 119228, Singapore.

Abstract

Asia is a populous and diverse region and potentially an important source of information on food allergy. This review aims to summarize the current literature on food allergy from this region, comparing it with western populations. A PubMed search using strategies "Food allergy AND Asia", "Food anaphylaxis AND Asia", and "Food allergy AND each Asian country" was made. Overall, 53 articles, published between 2005 and 2012, mainly written in English were reviewed. The overall prevalence of food allergy in Asia is somewhat comparable to the West. However, the types of food allergy differ in order of relevance. Shellfish is the most common food allergen from Asia, in part due to the abundance of seafood in this region. It is unique as symptoms vary widely from oral symptoms to anaphylaxis for the same individual. Data suggest that house dust mite tropomysin may be a primary sensitizer. In contrast, peanut prevalence in Asia is extremely low compared to the West for reasons not yet understood. Among young children and infants, egg and cow's milk allergy are the two most common food allergies, with prevalence data comparable to western populations. Differences also exist within Asia. Wheat allergy, though uncommon in most Asian countries, is the most common cause of anaphylaxis in Japan and Korea, and is increasing in Thailand. Current food allergy data from Asia highlights important differences between East and West, and within the Asian region. Further work is needed to provide insight on the environmental risk factors accounting for these differences.

KEYWORDS:

Asia; Epidemiology; Food Allergy; Prevalence; Shellfish; West

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Asia Pacific Association of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center