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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2016 Aug;27(5):452-8. doi: 10.1111/pai.12564. Epub 2016 May 6.

Prevalence and cumulative incidence of food hyper-sensitivity in the first 10 years of life.

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The David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight, UK.
School of Health Sciences and Social Work, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK.



Prevalence, incidence and natural history of food hypersensitivity (FHS) and its trends in an unselected cohort of older children are unclear.


A birth cohort born on the Isle of Wight (UK) between 2001 and 2002 was followed up prospectively. Children were clinically examined and skin prick tested at set times and invited for food challenges when indicated. At 10 years of age, children were also invited for a blood test.


A total of 969 children were recruited at 12 weeks of pregnancy, and 92.9%, 88.5%, 91.6% and 85.3% were assessed at 1, 2, 3 and 10 years. Prevalence of sensitization to any allergen over 10 years was 186 of 969 (19.2%; 95% CI: 16.84-21.8) and 108 of 969 (11.2%; 95% CI: 9.31-13.29) children were sensitized to at least one predefined food allergen. Excluding wheat (due to cross-reactivity with pollen), 40 of 969 (4.1%; 95% CI: 3.19-5.32) children were sensitized to a predefined food allergen. Using food challenges and/or a good clinical history, the cumulative incidence of food hypersensitivity (FHS) in the first decade of life was 64 of 947 (6.8%, 95% CI: 5.2-8.4), while the prevalence of FHS at 10 years was 30 of 827 (3.6%, 95% CI: 2.54-5.15). The vast majority, 25 of 827 (3.0%, 95% CI: 1.8-4.2), suffered from IgE-mediated food allergy, while 5 of 827 (0.6%, 95% CI: 0.07-1.3) had non-IgE-mediated food allergy/food intolerance.


By the age of 10 years, 6.8% of children suffered from FHS based on food challenges and a good clinical history. There was a large discrepancy between reported and diagnosed FHS.


food allergy; food hypersensitivity; food intolerance; incidence; prevalence

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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