[Prevalence, incidence and factors associated with adverse reactions to foods in Cuban infants. A population-based cohort study]

Rev Alerg Mex. Apr-Jun 2018;65(2):117-127. doi: 10.29262/ram.v65i2.301.
[Article in Spanish]

Abstract
in En , Spanish

Background: The prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in Cuban children is high, but little is known about adverse reactions to foods.

Objective: To determine the prevalence, incidence and risk factors for adverse reaction to foods in children.

Methods: Population-based cohort study carried out in Havana, Cuba, in a three-year period. Parents of 1543 children provided medical and lifestyle information from the first to the third year of age, which was collected using a questionnaire. An adverse reaction to foods was defined by medical diagnosis reported by the parents or caregivers.

Results: Annual cumulative incidence was 5.7%, 1.9% and 0.8%, whereas annual prevalence was 5.7%, 4% and 2.5% at 1, 2 and 3 years of age, respectively; 8% of infants had experienced an adverse reaction to foods when they turned 3 years of age. Cow milk was the most commonly implicated food. Main risk factors were allergenic food consumption, use of antibiotics, factors related to the presence of allergens, maternal history of overweight during pregnancy and allergy to insect bites.

Conclusions: Adverse reaction to food is a significant clinical problem in children from Havana. Modifiable risk factors were identified, the understanding of which will help to direct effective intervention strategies.

Antecedentes: Aunque la prevalencia del asma y enfermedades alérgicas en niños cubanos es alta, se conoce poco de las reacciones adversas a alimentos. Objetivo: Determinar prevalencia, incidencia y factores de riesgo para reacciones adversas a alimentos en niños. Métodos: Estudio de cohorte de base poblacional de La Habana, Cuba, en un periodo de tres años. Los padres de 1543 niños proveyeron datos médicos y de estilos de vida del primer al tercer año de edad, colectados con un cuestionario. La reacción adversa a alimentos fue definida por diagnóstico médico reportado por los padres o cuidadores. Resultados: La incidencia acumulada anual fue 5.7, 1.9 y 0.8 % y la prevalencia anual de 5.7, 4 y 2.5 % al uno, dos y tres años, respectivamente; 8 % de los infantes a los tres años tuvo una reacción adversa a alimentos. La leche de vaca fue el alimento más implicado. Los principales factores de riesgo fueron consumo de alimentos alergénicos, uso de antibióticos, factores relacionados con la presencia de alérgenos, historia materna de sobrepeso durante el embarazo y alergia a picaduras de insectos. Conclusiones: La reacción adversa al alimento es un problema significativo en los niños de La Habana. Se identificaron factores de riesgo modificables, cuya comprensión puede dirigir las intervenciones.

Keywords: Adverse reactions to foods; Food allergy; Food intolerance.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cuba / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors