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Determination of the Accurate Food Allergy Prevalence and Correction of Unnecessary Food Elimination
Saturday, March 5, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Yuki Okada, MD, Takumi Yamashita, Hideki Kumagai, Yoshihiko Morikawa, Akira Akasawa, MD, PhD
Rationale: Because the true prevalence of food allergy (FA), as based on the results of an oral food challenge test (OFC), is unknown, it is likely that children with suspected FA unnecessarily eliminate potentially causative foods. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of FA and determine the proportion of children who unnecessarily eliminate food.

Methods: To identify children with FA, a primary survey was conducted via questionnaire with all children aged 0–18 years old in Niijima village (remote islands of Japan). In the secondary survey, a detailed medical interview was conducted by doctors with children who currently did not eat some foods. The third survey involved serum food-specific IgE tests and an OFC for children with suspected FA.

Results: Of 376 enrolled children, 374 (99.5%) completed the questionnaires. Some foods were eliminated by 18.6% and 13.0% of all children and children ≥6 years old, respectively. The target population for the secondary survey included 69 children who all completed the medical interview. The target population for the third survey consisted of 35 children, of whom 26 (74.3%) underwent the blood test. An OFC was performed 35 times with 20 children. As a result, the prevalence of FA was 4.9% in children of all ages and 4.7% in children ≥6 years old. Moreover, 48.6% children could cease eliminating food intake.

Conclusions: It is possible that a considerable number of children unnecessarily eliminate food because of suspected FA.