Comparison of food allergy prevalence among Chinese infants in Chongqing, 2009 versus 1999

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Primary Child Care, Children's Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, China.
Pediatrics International (Impact Factor: 0.73). 10/2010; 52(5):820-4. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2010.03166.x
Source: PubMed


Food allergy prevalence is increasing in developed countries, but these results have not yet been verified in developing countries, especially in China. Our aim was to determine whether the prevalence and characteristics of food allergy have changed over the last 10 years in Chongqing, China.
Two cross-sectional studies were performed, 10 years apart (1999 and 2009) using the same diagnostic methods in the same age group (0-24 months) of the same clinic in Chongqing, China. A total of 401 infants were randomly selected for the present study. Food allergy was confirmed by food challenge. spss 15.0 was used to analyze the difference in prevalence.
Food allergy prevalence increased significantly from 3.5% in 1999 to 7.7% in 2009 (P= 0.017). The prevalence of a positive skin-prick-test response was also increased (from 9.9% to 18%; P= 0.002). Egg and cow's milk were still the most common food allergens, which cause skin and gastrointestinal symptoms in most infants.
This is the first study in China to indicate time trends in food allergy prevalence and characteristics. Our data show that in the 10-year period from 1999 to 2009, the prevalence of food allergy seems to have increased in China.

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    • "The vast majority of countries reported an increase in food allergy prevalence in the preceding 10 years, although in most cases this was based on increasing health care burden (Additional file 1: Table S1). There was published evidence to support an increasing prevalence from Australia [2,46], Japan [41], China [18], Korea [47], USA [48] and Norway [21,49]. In the Chinese study, the same methodology was used in the same population 10 years apart and showed a doubling of challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy from 3.5% in 1999 to 7.7% in 2009 [18]. "
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    World Allergy Organization Journal 12/2013; 6(1):21. DOI:10.1186/1939-4551-6-21
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    • "There are only two Asian studies that have evaluated prevalence trends in food allergy. As with the global trend, a study of 0 to 2 year olds from Chongqing, China by Hu et al. [13] who used the exact same methodology 10 years apart showed that the prevalence of challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy has doubled from 3.5% in 1999 to 7.7% in 2009. In contrast, in a study of Korean school-children, based on food allergy symptoms alone, showed little change in prevalence over a 5 year period. "
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