Background: Scarcity of reliable data on food allergy prevalence exists in Turkey. We aimed to assess reported and confirmed IgE-mediated food allergy prevalence, and define the spectrum of allergenic food.
BACKGROUND: Scarcity of reliable data on food allergy prevalence exists in Turkey. We aimed to assess reported and confirmed IgE-mediated food allergy prevalence, and define the spectrum of allergenic food.
METHODS: We prospectively evaluated the ISAAC Phase II study population for food allergy. Participants that reported experiencing food allergy symptom in the last year and/or were skin prick test positive for a predefined list of food allergens, were interviewed via telephone, and those considered as having food allergy were invited to undergo clinical investigation, including challenge tests.
RESULTS: A total of 6963 questionnaires were available. Parental reported food allergy prevalence and skin prick sensitisation rate were 20.2 ± 0.9% and 5.9 ± 0.6%. According to the above-defined criteria, 1162 children (symptom positive n=909, skin prick test positive n=301, both positive n=48) were selected and 813 (70.0%) were interviewed via telephone. Out of 152 adolescents reporting a current complaint, 87 accepted clinical investigation. There were 12 food allergies diagnosed in nine adolescents, with food allergy prevalence of 0.16 ± 0.11%. The most common foods involved in allergic reactions were walnut (n=3) and beef meat (n=2), followed by hen's egg (n=1), peanut (n=1), spinach (n=1), kiwi (n=1), cheese (n=1), hazelnut (n=1) and peach (n=1).
CONCLUSIONS: While parental reported food allergy prevalence was within the range reported previously, confirmed IgE-mediated food allergy prevalence among adolescents was at least 0.16%, and the spectrum of foods involved in allergy differed from Western countries, implying environmental factors may play a role.