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Risk factors for food allergy in early adolescence: the SchoolNuts study
journal contributionposted on 2018-03-01, 00:00 authored by Mari Sasaki, Rachel L Peters, Jennifer J Koplin, Michael J Field, Vicki McWilliam, Susan M Sawyer, Peter VuillerminPeter Vuillermin, Angela Pezic, Lyle C Gurrin, Jo A Douglass, Mimi L K Tang, Shyamali C Dharmage, Katrina J Allen
BACKGROUND: Despite the rising rates of anaphylaxis in older children and adolescents, risk factors for food allergy among this age group are understudied. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the risk factors for current adolescent food allergy using a population-based sample. METHODS: The SchoolNuts study was a questionnaire survey among 10- to 14-year-old adolescents and their parents, followed by clinic evaluation including oral food challenge when food allergy was suspected from questionnaire response. We investigated the association between food allergy and demographic and environmental factors among a total of 4,991 adolescents using multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: Males and those with early-onset eczema had a higher risk of current food allergy in adolescence (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-2.15 and aOR, 14.08; 95% CI, 10.25-19.33). Those with Asian parents had increased risk compared with those with Caucasian parents (aOR, 2.82; 95% CI, 1.91-4.16), whereas being born in Asia compared with being born in Australia had decreased risk (aOR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.04-0.67). Family history risk was higher for those with multiple members versus only 1 member (aOR, 4.62; 95% CI, 2.75-7.74 and aOR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.36-3.97, respectively). Dog exposure during the first 5 years of life was associated with a decreased risk (aOR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.38-0.91). CONCLUSIONS: Early-onset eczema, Asian background, and family history of allergic disease were associated with an increased risk of food allergy, whereas dog exposure in early life reduced the risk in 10- to14-year-old adolescents. Factors predicting food allergy risk in an adolescent population-based cohort appear remarkably similar to those predicting early-onset food allergy in infancy.