Health News

Food Allergies Vary by Race, Income


The prevalence of food allergies and rates of specific types vary by race, ethnicity, and income, according to research published online June 14 in JAMA Network Open.


  • A nationally representative survey of 51,819 households was conducted in 2015 and 2016.

  • Researchers grouped participants by race (including Asian, Black, and White), ethnicity (Hispanic and non-Hispanic), and socioeconomic status and estimated the prevalence of food allergies in each category.


  • Non-Hispanic White individuals had the lowest rate of self-reported or parent-reported food allergies (9.5%), compared with Asian (10.5%), Hispanic (10.6%), and non-Hispanic Black (10.6%) individuals.

  • Among kids, Black children had the highest rate of food allergies (8.9%), whereas Asian children had the lowest rate (6.5%).

  • Asian children had the highest rates of tree nut allergies (2%), while Black children had the highest rates of allergies to peanuts (3%), eggs (1.6%), and fin fish (0.9%).

  • By income, the prevalence of food allergies was lowest among households earning more than $150,000 per year (8.3%).


“Additional targeted, educational interventions may address disparities in food allergy outcomes and improve targeted food allergy management,” the researchers say.


Ruchi S. Gupta, MD, MPH, founding director of the Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, is the study’s corresponding author. The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and Denise and Dave Bunning.


The study relied on self- and parent-reported data, and the researchers did not evaluate subpopulations within racial or ethnic groups. Sample sizes were limited for individuals who identified as multiracial, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaskan Native.


The authors have received grants or fees from nonprofit organizations, foundations, biopharmaceutical companies, and government and academic centers. Gupta has an ownership interest in Yobee Care, a company that markets scalp care products.

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Source: Read Full Article