May 20, 2017

IgE-mediated food allergies in children: prevalence, triggers, and management

REVIEW ARTICLE
Korean J Pediatr 2017 April;60(4) :99-105.
Published online 2017 April 15.  
Sooyoung Lee
Department of Pediatrics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
Corresponding Author: Sooyoung Lee ,Tel: +82-31-219-5160, Fax: +82-31-219-5169, Email: jsjs87@ajou.ac.kr
ABSTRACT
Food allergy (FA) is a serious health problem, and severe FA such as food-induced anaphylaxis can often be life threatening. The incidence of FA has been increasing especially in children. They usually develop early in life and affect up to 10% of children. The 2 most common food allergens worldwide are milk and eggs, while the third one varies depending on the countries: peanuts in the United States and Switzerland, wheat in Germany and Japan, tree nuts in Spain, sesame in Israel, and walnuts in Korea. These common food allergens are different and difficult to identify because of differing study methodologies, population, geography, age, and dietary exposure patterns. The current management of FA relies on the strict avoidance of culprit allergens, the prompt treatment of allergic reactions, including epinephrine use for food-induced anaphylaxis, monitoring, and education to prevent further reactions. Newer approaches for tolerance induction to FA and FA immunotherapy have been under investigation but are not yet ready for real-world application. Thus, consistent and systematic education of patients, caregivers, and food-handling people is of primary importance for the management and prevention of FA reactions. This review assesses and compares IgE-mediated FA in children in Korea and other countries, with a focus on summarizing the prevalence, common triggers, and management of FA.

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