The prevalence of food allergy in infants in Chongqing, China

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2011 Jun;22(4):356-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2011.01139.x. Epub 2011 Jan 25.


Background: Over the past three decades, the prevalence of allergic diseases has markedly increased in developed countries. There has been a paucity of data on food allergy (FA) in developing countries such as China. We aimed to estimate the prevalence and the clinical features of FA in Chinese infants attending a routine well-baby clinic in Chongqing, China.

Methods: From January 1st to February 28th, 2009, consecutive infants and young children aged 0-12 months attending routine well-baby checks at the Department of Primary Child Care, Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, were invited to participate in the study. Parents completed questionnaires, and children were skin prick tested (SPT) to a panel of 10 foods (egg white, egg yolk, cow's milk, soybean, peanut, wheat, fish, shrimp, orange, and carrot) together of histamine and saline controls. Subjects with either a positive SPT or a positive medical history were invited to undergo an oral food challenge.

Results: Of 497 children who consented to participate, 477 (96%) participated fully in the study. Of these, 56 subjects had a positive SPT (11.3%), with 45 positive to egg, 13 to cow's milk, 2 to peanut, 1 to fish, shrimp, and orange respectively. Eighty subjects (16.1%, 80/497) participated in food challenges.

Conclusion: The overall prevalence of challenge-proven FA in 0- to 1-yr-old children in Chongqing, China, was 3.8% (18/477, 95% CI, 2.5-5.9%) with 2.5% (12/477) egg allergic and 1.3% (6/477) cow's milk allergic.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • China
  • Eggs / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Food / adverse effects*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Milk / adverse effects
  • Prevalence
  • Skin Tests


  • Allergens