Food allergies less prevalent among low-income families
Patients from families with a household annual income of $50,000 or less are more than twice as likely to have negative oral food challenge results compared with those from families who make more, according to research presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting.
To study the relationship between household income and food allergy, the researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of oral food challenge (OFC) data collected at Tufts Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, between March 2008 and April 2015. They estimated household income using the median income of the patient’s zip code. Low household income was determined to be $50,000 or less.
The researchers studied 1,252 oral food challenges in 831 patients, of whom 57% were male and 79% were white. The average age was 10 years. Challenges for milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy wheat, fish and shellfish together accounted for 89% of the challenges. Of the cases analyzed, 93% were from a high household income of more than $50,000. Outcomes were 26% positive, 69% negative and 5% indeterminate.
According to the researchers, challenge results were associated with household income (P = .008) and whether the test was for a major or nonmajor allergen (P = .039). There was no association between challenge result and age, gender, race or facility. In addition, they found that those with low household income were 2.7 times more likely to have a negative challenge result (P = .015) after controlling for allergen type, facility, age, gender and race. – by Jason Laday
Disclosure: Healio Family Medicine could not confirm the researchers’ financial disclosure information.
Beukema KR, et al. Paper 416. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting; March 4-7, 2016; Los Angeles.