New research has revealed that among people in the U.S. with food allergies, approximately forty per cent of children and almost half of adults live with multiple food allergies. Those with multiple food allergies reported higher use of healthcare services and experienced a greater psychosocial burden than people diagnosed with just one type of food allergy.
These results are derived from a population-based survey of 38,408 children and 40,443 adults.
The study identified four key latent phenotypes of multi-food allergy: milk and egg-dominant, seafood-dominant, peanut and tree nut-dominant, and broadly multi-food allergic. Each phenotype demonstrated unique characteristics and prevalence rates within the paediatric and adult populations.
The prevalence of multiple food allergies highlights the urgent need for increased awareness, research, and support for affected individuals. By understanding the distinct phenotypes of multi-food allergy, healthcare professionals can provide tailored interventions and develop strategies to mitigate the physical, emotional, and economic consequences associated with these allergies.
Much remains unknown about the distribution and determinants of multi-food allergy. Further research and public health initiatives are necessary to better understand the underlying causes and develop effective prevention and management strategies to alleviate the burden faced by those with multiple food allergies.
Reference: Warren, C.M. et al. (2023) The epidemiology of multi-food allergy in the United States: A population-based study. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Vol. 130 (5). Pp 637-648.e5, DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2022.12.031.