Prevalence of food allergy among preschool children in northern Thailand

Pediatrics International, 04/25/2012

Lao–araya M et al. – The prevalence of IgE–mediated food allergies (FA) confirmed on oral food challenge tests (OFC) was >1.11% (95% confidence interval: 0.41–2.98%). The most common causative food was shrimp. Ant eggs were a unique food allergen causing severe reactions in preschool children in northern Thailand.

Methods

  • Five hundred and forty-six children aged 3–7 years living in Chiang Mai, Thailand participated in this study.
  • A cross-sectional parent questionnaire survey was conducted.
  • Families with children reporting FA were invited to undergo further investigations with skin prick testing, serum specific IgE, and OFC.

Results

  • A total of 452 out of 546 questionnaires (82.8%) were returned.
  • Forty-two children (9.3%) were reported to have FA. The five leading allergic foods reported were shrimp, cow's milk, fish, chicken eggs, and ant eggs.
  • The most commonly reported symptom was a skin rash (78.0%), followed by abdominal pain and vomiting (31.1%). Anaphylaxis was found in two children (3.4%), from ant eggs allergy.
  • Eighteen children underwent OFC; five of them were positive to shrimp, fish, and crab.
  • Either skin prick test or serum-specific IgE was positive in these children. Factors associated with parent-reported FA included personal and family history of atopic dermatitis.

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