Health-related quality of life worsens by school age amongst children with food allergy

Clin Transl Allergy. 2019 Feb 7;9:10. doi: 10.1186/s13601-019-0244-0. eCollection 2019.


Background: Food allergy is negatively associated with health-related quality of life (HRQL). Although differences exist between parents and children, less is known about age-specific differences amongst children. As such, we aimed to identify if age, as well as other factors, are associated with food allergy-specific HRQL in an objectively defined population of children.

Methods: Overall, 63 children (boys: n = 36; 57.1%) with specialist-diagnosed food allergy to 1 + foods were included. Parents/guardians completed the Swedish version of a disease-specific questionnaire designed to assess overall- and domain-specific HRQL. Descriptive statistics and linear regression were used.

Results: The most common food allergy was hen's egg (n = 40/63; 63.5%). Most children had more than one food allergy (n = 48; 76.2%). Nearly all had experienced mild symptoms (e.g. skin; n = 56/63; 94.9%), and more than half had severe symptoms (e.g. respiratory; 39/63; 66.1%). Compared to young children (0-5 years), older children (6-12 years) had worse HRQL (e.g. overall HRQL: B = 0.60; 95% CI 0.05-1.16; p < 0.04.). Similarly, multiple food allergies, and severe symptoms were significantly associated with worse HRQL (all p < 0.05) even in models adjusted for concomitant allergic disease. No associations were found for gender or socioeconomic status.

Conclusion: Older children and those with severe food allergy have worse HRQL.

Keywords: Children; Food allergy; Food hypersensitivity; Health-related quality of life.