Food allergy could be an under-recognized risk factor for problematic asthma

8203 participants in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006 had food-specific serum IgE measured to peanut, cow's milk, egg white, and shrimp.

The estimated prevalence of clinical food allergy (FA) was 2.5% (peanut, 1.3%; milk, 0.4%; egg, 0.2%; shrimp, 1.0%; not mutually exclusive).

Risk of possible FA/likely FA was increased in non-Hispanic blacks, males, and children.

Study participants with doctor-diagnosed asthma (vs no asthma) exhibited increased risk of all measures of food sensitization. In those with likely FA, the adjusted odds ratio for current asthma (3.8) and an emergency department visit for asthma in the past year (6.9) were both notably increased.

Food allergy (FA) could be an under-recognized risk factor for problematic asthma.


8 top allergens account for 90 percent of food allergies. Specific IgE levels (sIgE) that predict the likelihood of passing an oral food challenge are shown in the figure. (click to enlarge the image).

References:
National prevalence and risk factors for food allergy and relationship to asthma: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Oct;126(4):798-806.e13.
Loss-of-function mutations in filaggrin gene are associated with atopic dermatitis, and now with peanut allergy too. JACI, 2011.
Early food sensitization and FLG mutation in infants with early eczema increase the risk for later asthma (JACI, 2011).

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