FOOD ALLERGIES AND HYPERSENSITIVITIESAMONG CHILDRENIN SOUTH KARELIA, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS OULUENSIS D Medica 1090
|ISBN-13:||978-951-42-9394-8 || |
|Kustantaja:||Oulun yliopisto|| |
|Laitos:||Lääketieteellinen tiedekunta|| |
|Sijainti:||Print Tietotalo|| |
|Tekijät:||PYRHÖNEN KAISA || |
The aim of the South Karelian Allergy Research Project (SKARP) was to quantify the occurrenceof children’s food allergy and food-associated hypersensitivity symptoms and their associatedfactors. The study population comprised all children born between April 2001 and March 2006and living in the province of South Karelia, in the south-eastern part of Finland. The questionnairesurvey was conducted in co-operation with the child health clinics in the area in 2005–2006.Concurrently with but independently of the questionnaire study, the results of allergy testsregarding the same child population were collected from patient records.
The participation rates in the questionnaire study were 54% (644/1194) among the newborninfants and 69% (3308/4779) among the children aged 1 to 4 years. The lifetime prevalence ofparent-reported food allergies was 9% and that of parent-perceived food-associatedhypersensitivity symptoms 21% by the age of 4 years. In addition, another 19% of childrenadhered to an elimination diet without previous symptoms associated with any food items. Theprevalence of children with such diets decreased by age. Up to the age of 4 years, 19% of theparticipants had undergone a food allergy test and 8% of the participants had obtained a positiveresult in these tests. Physician-diagnosed food allergies and food allergies based on the tests weremore common for milk, egg and cereals than for other food items. The tested children and thosewith a positive test result were only slightly overrepresented among the participants. Allergicmanifestations in either biological parent doubled and in both biological parents tripled theincidence of a positive food allergy test. The spring season coinciding with the end of the firsttrimester of pregnancy predicted sensitisation to food items in the children.
In early childhood, food allergies and food hypersensitivities were found to be common in achild population. New population-based knowledge regarding the inheritance of these conditionswas obtained. Additionally, an association was observed between the timing of the 11th gestationalweek in spring and the sensitisation to food items, the detailed reasons and immunologicalmechanisms of which must be confirmed in further studies.