Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kids with food allergies can fall through the cracks

Date:
September 13, 2012
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
More can be done to properly manage the care of American children with food allergies, especially when it comes to diagnostic testing and recognizing non-visual symptoms of severe allergic reactions, according to a new study.

More can be done to properly manage the care of American children with food allergies, especially when it comes to diagnostic testing and recognizing non-visual symptoms of severe allergic reactions, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

"Every child with a food allergy should be diagnosed by a physician, have access to life-saving medication such as an epinephrine autoinjector and receive confirmation of the disease through diagnostic testing," said lead author Ruchi Gupta, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. "Not all children are receiving this kind of care."

The study was published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the official publication of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Data in this study is from a randomized online survey of U.S. households with children with symptoms consistent with a mild-to-severe food allergy. It's the first paper of its kind to offer insight on how pediatric food allergies are typically diagnosed and what can be done to streamline the management of the disease and keep affected children safe.

Here are key findings from the study:

  • 70 percent report receiving a physician's diagnosis for their child's food allergy
  • Lower income and minority households were more likely to have a child with an undiagnosed food allergy.
  • Of the physician-diagnosed children, 32 percent did not receive diagnostic testing -- such as a blood, skin or oral food challenge test.
  • A skin test was the most popular diagnostic test with 46 percent. A blood test was second with 39 percent.
  • Only 1 in 5 of reported that their child received an oral food challenge test -- the gold standard of food allergy diagnoses.

"An oral food challenge might be scary for parents because their child is being fed the allergenic food," Gupta said. "Some physicians think the risks outweigh the benefits, but it is the best tool we have to diagnose a food allergy."

Here are key findings on the kind of reactions children had to the top nine food allergies, which are: egg, finfish, milk, peanut, sesame, shellfish, soy, tree nut and wheat:

  • Cutaneous symptoms, such as hives, puffy eyes or lips, and eczema occurred in 80 percent of food-induced anaphylactic reactions.
  • During severe, life-threatening reactions, hives only occurred in 40 percent of the cases and puffy eyes or lips in 34 percent of the cases.

"Not all food allergy reactions start with swelling or a rash," Gupta said. "If you suspect your child has eaten something they're allergic to and you don't see a visible sign of a reaction, you need to think about what might be going on internally."

Here are some questions to ask a child after a suspected accidental ingestion of an allergenic food:

  • Does your throat feel tight?
  • Are you having trouble breathing?
  • Do you feel dizzy or faint?
  • Does your stomach hurt?

"This study shows why it's vital that children receive an accurate diagnosis, and that parents and other caregivers know the signs of a severe reaction and are equipped to respond immediately," said Mary Jane Marchisotto, executive director of the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), which provided financial support for the study. "We urge families to visit www.faiusa.org, where they will find the information and tools they need to understand and cope with food allergies."

A nonprofit founded in 1998 by concerned parents and grandparents, FAI is the world's largest private funder of food allergy research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. The original article was written by Erin White. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ruchi S. Gupta, Elizabeth E. Springston, Bridget Smith, Jacqueline Pongracic, Jane L. Holl, Manoj R. Warrier. Parent report of physician diagnosis in pediatric food allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.07.016

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Kids with food allergies can fall through the cracks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913141419.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2012, September 13). Kids with food allergies can fall through the cracks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913141419.htm
Northwestern University. "Kids with food allergies can fall through the cracks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913141419.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins