Background. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between food allergy and asthma morbidity in adults. Methods. We interviewed a cohort of persistent asthmatics from an inner-city clinic. Allergies to food were assessed by patient report of convincing symptoms of acute allergic reactions. Outcome variables included health resource utilization and medication use. Results. The prevalence of allergy to fish, peanut, tree-nut, shellfish, and seed allergies were 3%, 3%, 3%, 13%, and 1%. Patients with allergies to > 1 food had increased asthma hospitalizations, ED visits, and use of oral steroids (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). Specifically, allergy to fish was associated with a greater risk of health resource utilization and increased frequency of oral steroid use (p ≤ 0.03 for all comparisons). Conclusions. Self-reported allergy to foods was associated with worse outcomes, suggesting that food allergy may be a risk factor for increased asthma morbidity in adults.
- Food allergy
- Risk factors