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Pediatrics. 2018 Dec;142(6). pii: e20181235. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-1235. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

The Public Health Impact of Parent-Reported Childhood Food Allergies in the United States.

Author information

1
Departments of Pediatrics, r-gupta@northwestern.edu.
2
Medicine, and.
3
Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
4
Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research, Outreach, and Advocacy Center, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago, Illinois.
5
Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.
6
Center for Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare, Edward J. Hines Jr Veterans Affairs Hospital, Hines, Illinois; and.
7
Departments of Pediatrics.
8
Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine, and.
9
Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Abstract

: media-1vid110.1542/5840360268001PEDS-VA_2018-1235Video Abstract BACKGROUND: Childhood food allergy (FA) is a life-threatening chronic condition that substantially impairs quality of life. This large, population-based survey estimates childhood FA prevalence and severity of all major allergenic foods. Detailed allergen-specific information was also collected regarding FA management and health care use.

METHODS:

A survey was administered to US households between 2015 and 2016, obtaining parent-proxy responses for 38 408 children. Prevalence estimates were based on responses from NORC at the University of Chicago's nationally representative, probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel (51% completion rate), which were augmented by nonprobability-based responses via calibration weighting to increase precision. Prevalence was estimated via weighted proportions. Multiple logistic regression models were used to evaluate FA predictors.

RESULTS:

Overall, estimated current FA prevalence was 7.6% (95% confidence interval: 7.1%-8.1%) after excluding 4% of children whose parent-reported FA reaction history was inconsistent with immunoglobulin E-mediated FA. The most prevalent allergens were peanut (2.2%), milk (1.9%), shellfish (1.3%), and tree nut (1.2%). Among food-allergic children, 42.3% reported ≥1 severe FA and 39.9% reported multiple FA. Furthermore, 19.0% reported ≥1 FA-related emergency department visit in the previous year and 42.0% reported ≥1 lifetime FA-related emergency department visit, whereas 40.7% had a current epinephrine autoinjector prescription. Prevalence rates were higher among African American children and children with atopic comorbidities.

CONCLUSIONS:

FA is a major public health concern, affecting ∼8% of US children. However, >11% of children were perceived as food-allergic, suggesting that the perceived disease burden may be greater than previously acknowledged.

PMID:
30455345
PMCID:
PMC6317772
[Available on 2019-12-01]
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2018-1235

Conflict of interest statement

POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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