Pediatric Annals

CME Article 

Food-induced Anaphylaxis: Who, What, Why, and Where?

Ekta Shah, MD; Jacqueline A. Pongracic, MD

Abstract

Food allergies affect up to 6% to 8% of children. Food-induced anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) is the leading cause of anaphylaxis seen and treated in emergency departments in the United States. Despite measures to help prevent accidental exposure, such as food labeling laws and food allergy education provided by healthcare providers to family members and caregivers, many children will experience accidental exposure. In fact, one study reported that 58% of children who were diagnosed with peanut allergy experienced an accidental peanut exposure within 5 years of their diagnosis. Food allergen avoidance is difficult. Parents, children, and caretakers must maintain constant awareness of the foods that these children ingest.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Ekta Shah, MD, is Fellow, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University-McGaw Medical Center. Jacqueline Pongracic, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Division Head, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital..

Address correspondence to: Jacqueline Pongracic, MD, Division Head, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital, 2300 Children’s Plaza #60, Chicago, IL 60614; fax: 773-327-3790; or e-mail jpongracic@childrensmemorial.org.

Dr. Shah and Dr. Pongrancic have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Review the epidemiology of food-induced anaphylaxis and identify the most commonly implicated foods.
  2. Discuss patient-related factors that place individuals with food allergy at higher risk for food-induced anaphylaxis.
  3. Identify factors that place individuals at higher risk for fatal food-induced anaphylaxis.

Abstract

Food allergies affect up to 6% to 8% of children. Food-induced anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) is the leading cause of anaphylaxis seen and treated in emergency departments in the United States. Despite measures to help prevent accidental exposure, such as food labeling laws and food allergy education provided by healthcare providers to family members and caregivers, many children will experience accidental exposure. In fact, one study reported that 58% of children who were diagnosed with peanut allergy experienced an accidental peanut exposure within 5 years of their diagnosis. Food allergen avoidance is difficult. Parents, children, and caretakers must maintain constant awareness of the foods that these children ingest.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Ekta Shah, MD, is Fellow, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University-McGaw Medical Center. Jacqueline Pongracic, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Division Head, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital..

Address correspondence to: Jacqueline Pongracic, MD, Division Head, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital, 2300 Children’s Plaza #60, Chicago, IL 60614; fax: 773-327-3790; or e-mail jpongracic@childrensmemorial.org.

Dr. Shah and Dr. Pongrancic have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Review the epidemiology of food-induced anaphylaxis and identify the most commonly implicated foods.
  2. Discuss patient-related factors that place individuals with food allergy at higher risk for food-induced anaphylaxis.
  3. Identify factors that place individuals at higher risk for fatal food-induced anaphylaxis.

Food allergies affect up to 6% to 8% of children. Food-induced anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) is the leading cause of anaphylaxis seen and treated in emergency departments in the United States. Despite measures to help prevent accidental exposure, such as food labeling laws and food allergy education provided by healthcare providers to family members and caregivers, many children will experience accidental exposure. In fact, one study reported that 58% of children who were diagnosed with peanut allergy experienced an accidental peanut exposure within 5 years of their diagnosis. Food allergen avoidance is difficult. Parents, children, and caretakers must maintain constant awareness of the foods that these children ingest.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Ekta Shah, MD, is Fellow, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University-McGaw Medical Center. Jacqueline Pongracic, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Division Head, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital..

Address correspondence to: Jacqueline Pongracic, MD, Division Head, Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Memorial Hospital, 2300 Children’s Plaza #60, Chicago, IL 60614; fax: 773-327-3790; or e-mail jpongracic@childrensmemorial.org.

Dr. Shah and Dr. Pongrancic have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Review the epidemiology of food-induced anaphylaxis and identify the most commonly implicated foods.
  2. Discuss patient-related factors that place individuals with food allergy at higher risk for food-induced anaphylaxis.
  3. Identify factors that place individuals at higher risk for fatal food-induced anaphylaxis.

10.3928/00904481-20080801-06

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