Significance of food allergy in atopic dermatitis in children
Keywords:atopic dermatitis, food allergy, children
Background. Atopic dermatitis is the most common inflammatory skin disease in childhood, affecting almost 20 % of children. Food allergies affect one of three children with atopic dermatitis, and allergies to peanuts, eggs and milk are the predominant food allergies in the world. The purpose was to assess the prevalence of food allergies in the group of patients with atopic dermatitis, to determine the association of food allergies with anamnestic and clinical parameters of atopic dermatitis. Materials and methods. Children with atopic dermatitis (n = 116) were included in the study from September 2020 to August 2021 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Food sensitization was established by determining specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) to food allergens using immunochemiluminescent method on the ImmunoCAP 100 system (Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Phadia, Sweden). Results. The average age of children in the main group (59 boys and 57 girls) was 6.8 years. All 116 patients at the time of examination had manifestations of atopic dermatitis in the form of erythematous itchy rash. The number of children with food allergy was 23 (19.8 %). Among food allergens, positive sIgE were found: in 14 patients (12 %) — to milk, in 13 (11.2 %) — to eggs, in 5 (4.3 %) — to fish, and in 4 people (3.4 %) — to hazelnuts. Food sensitization was significantly more common in children with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis than in the group of patients with mild atopic dermatitis (χ2 = 7.555, p < 0.05). Children with food sensitization had an earlier onset of atopic dermatitis — the average age of manifestations onset was 8 months, and in the group of children without food allergy, it was 18 months. Children with a parental history of atopic diseases were significantly more likely to have concomitant food allergy (χ2 = 12.831, p < 0.05). Conclusions. Given the significant association between early onset as well as moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis and food sensitization, it is likely that food sensitization occurs primarily through an inflamed skin barrier in eczematous skin, which could potentially lead to clinical food allergy.
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