THURSDAY, June 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of reported food allergies is higher among U.S. Asian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Black individuals compared with non-Hispanic White individuals, and lowest in households in the highest income bracket, according to a study published online June 14 in JAMA Network Open.
Jialing Jiang, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues estimated the national distribution of food allergies across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups in the United States in a cross-sectional survey study. The survey was administered to 51,819 households, including 78,851 individuals, from Oct. 9, 2015, to Sept. 18, 2016.
The researchers found that across all ages, non-Hispanic Whites had the lowest rate of self-reported or parent-reported food allergies compared with Asian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Black individuals (9.5 percent versus 10.5, 10.6, and 10.6 percent, respectively). There was variation noted by race and ethnicity in the prevalence of common food allergens. The likelihood of reporting allergies to multiple foods was highest for non-Hispanic Black individuals (50.6 percent). Compared with individuals of other races and ethnicities, Asian and non-Hispanic White individuals had the lowest rates of severe food allergy reactions (46.9 and 47.8 percent, respectively). Households earning more than $150,000 per year had the lowest prevalence of self-reported or parent-reported food allergies (8.3 percent).
"Further efforts should be undertaken to evaluate the sociocultural and economic covariates associated with racial and ethnic differences in food allergy burden and to explore additional factors such as cultural heterogeneity within racial and ethnic groups experiencing food allergies," the authors write.