Food allergy is increasing in prevalence worldwide. This review summarizes progress made studying relationships between food allergy and quality of life (QOL), with an emphasis on recent work in the field. Early work examining QOL among food allergy patients established that stress and anxiety associated with continuous allergen avoidance and the looming threat of anaphylaxis were associated with significantly impaired food allergy quality of life (FAQOL) for children with food allergy and their caregivers. Recent clinical studies suggest that undergoing oral food challenge to confirm food allergy and oral immunotherapy to treat food allergy may each improve FAQOL among both patients and their caregivers. Other intervention modalities, such as nurse-facilitated counseling and educational workshops, also hold promise, but additional work is needed. Future work must strive to recruit more representative, population-based samples, including adult patients, in order to improve the generalizability and clinical relevance of findings.
Keywords: Anaphylaxis; Food allergy; Food hypersensitivity; Pediatrics; Quality of life.