Analysis of the prevalence of food hypersensitivity and food anaphylaxis in the children’s population of Ekaterinburg

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BACKGROUND: In recent decades, the number of patients experiencing food allergies and food anaphylaxis has been increasing worldwide. However, at present, epidemiological data on this problem are unclear. Anaphylaxis is an acute, potentially life-threatening pathological reaction of systemic hypersensitivity with various clinical symptoms, which can be coded under different diagnoses and conditions. Its acute onset and transient nature make it difficult to obtain prospective data. Thus, it appears realistic to conduct retrospective studies using a questionnaire analysis to identify children who have undergone such reactions for further examination and observation.

AIM: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of food hypersensitivity and food anaphylaxis in the pediatric population of Ekaterinburg.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 5,000 parents with children aged 2–17 years were surveyed. The children attend preschool or school general educational institutions (children’s education institution (ChEI) of the city. ChEIs were randomized, and the parent survey was anonymous and voluntary. Respective parents were asked to complete the questionnaire, which asks them whether their children have skin lesions, wheezing, and clinical presentations of allergic rhinitis or food allergy. The developed questionnaire was based on the ISAC questionnaire translated into Russian. In the questionnaires, the parents gave only those symptoms that arose in children against the background of somatic health at normal body temperature.

RESULTS: A total of 2,400 questionnaires were analyzed: 1,196 questionnaires were filled by parents of boys (49.9%) and 1,204 questionnaires by parents of girls (50.1%) aged 2–17 years (average age 10.31 ± 0.30 years). Data collected from questionnaire revealed that skin rashes in 17% of the children were associated with products: most often, these were obligate allergens and histamine liberators. Additionally, 6.8% of the parents noted that persistent rhinitis in their children was associated with consumption of milk/fish/fruit/nuts. Symptoms of respiratory obstruction after eating fish/cow’s milk/nuts were described by parents of 2.7% of the children. Association of urticarial manifestations with food was noticed by parents of 194 (8.1%) children. Moreover, 0.96% of children experienced symptoms of anaphylaxis to food, 0.3% to cow’s milk, 0.12% to chicken eggs and fruit, and 0.08% to wheat, nuts, and fish.

CONCLUSIONS: Epidemiological studies help understand the spread and nature of allergic diseases in a region. Moreover, identification of children who have had episodes of food-borne anaphylaxis helps prevent recurrent cases by conducting case follow-up of these patients.

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About the authors

Tatiana S. Lepeshkova

The Urals State Medical University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0716-3529

associate Professor Department of polyclinic Pediatrics and Pediatrics faculty of advanced training and retraining

Russian Federation, 3, St. Repin, Yekaterinburg, 620028


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Fig. 1. Age and sex of children as per the questionnaire data (n=2400).

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2. Fig. 2. Food products that, as per the questionnaire data, intensify skin rashes in children (n=409),%

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3. Fig. 3. Food products that, as per the questionnaire data, caused angioedema and acute uritricaria in children (n=91), %

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