Children of Asian background who are born in Australia have higher rates of eczema and nut allergy than non-Asian children. However, less is known about other allergy and anaphylaxis in this group.
We used data from the 2010 School Entrant Health Questionnaire, which was completed for 57,005 students (85.8% response rate) at age 5 in Victoria, Australia. Analyses were conducted using logistic regression with results presented as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Asian children born in Australia were more likely to have food allergy (OR 2.33, 95%CI 1.96-2.77) and eczema (OR 2.04, 95%CI 1.74-2.41), but less likely to have asthma (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.74-1.02) compared to non-Asian children. By contrast, children born in Asia had a lower risk of food allergy (OR 0.33, 95%CI 0.20-0.55), eczema (OR 0.41, 95%CI 0.28-0.62) and asthma (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.21-0.40).
Triggers of anaphylaxis differed by ethnicity and country of birth. Asian children born in Australia had a higher risk of food-induced anaphylaxis (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.16-1.94), including anaphylaxis to peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat and seafood (fish/shellfish), and non-food anaphylaxis (OR 2.50, 95% CI 1.75-3.57) compared to non-Asian children.
Interestingly, children born in Asia had a lower risk of food-induced anaphylaxis overall (OR 0.28, 95%CI 0.14-0.56) including anaphylaxis to milk, peanut and tree nuts, but higher risk of anaphylaxis to soy, wheat and non-food anaphylaxis (OR 2.28, 95%CI 1.41-3.69).
Patterns of allergy & anaphylaxis and its triggers differed according to both ethnicity and country of birth.