Food allergy among Iranian children with inflammatory bowel disease: A preliminary report

J Res Med Sci. 2015 Sep;20(9):855-9. doi: 10.4103/1735-1995.170605.


Background: Evidence has shown a link between allergic disease and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). We investigated food allergy in Iranian pediatric IBD patients.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a consecutive sample of children with newly diagnosed IBD referring to Mofid Children's University Hospital in Tehran (Iran) between November 2013 and March 2015. Data on age, gender, history of cow's milk allergy (CMA), IBD type, routine laboratory tests, and colonoscopic and histopathological findings were gathered. Food allergy was assessed with the skin prick test (SPT).

Results: A total of 28 patients including 19 ulcerative colitis (UC), 7 Cronh's disease (CD), and two with unclassified colitis with a mean age of 8.3 ± 4.4 years. (57.1% females, 42.9% were studied. History of CMA was present in eight patients (28.6%). Seventeen patients (60.7%) had at least one food allergy (68.4% of UC vs. 42.9% of CD, P = 0.230). Ten patients (35.7%) had multiple food allergies (36.8% of UC vs. 42.9% of CD, P > 0.999). Common allergic foods were cow's milk (28.6%), beef, seafood, albumen, wheat, and walnuts (each 10.7%), and peanuts and chestnuts (each 7.1%). The SPT showed CMA in 68.4% (8/17) of UC but none of the CD patients (P = 0.077).

Conclusion: Food allergy is frequent in Iranian pediatric IBD patients with CMA being the most common observed allergy. The CMA seems to be more frequent in UC than in CD patients.

Keywords: Crohn's disease; food hypersensitivity; inflammatory bowel diseases; pediatrics; ulcerative colitis.