Food allergy is common in children with prevalence up to 10%. We assessed the clinico-laboratory characteristics and frequency of food sensitization to the commonly consumed food among upper Egyptian preschool children with recurrent wheezy chest.
This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on 100 preschool children with recurrent wheezy chest recruited from Emergency, Allergy, and Pulmonology units, Assiut University Children’s Hospital, Egypt. All enrolled patients were subjected to history taking, through examination, chest X-ray, skin prick testing (SPT), and lab investigations.
Family history of allergy was found in 66 patients, while history of other allergies was reported in 47 patients. History of food allergy was positive in 47% of the studied patients, and 28 patients had positive reaction by SPT. Sensitization to fish, milk, egg, and wheat was found in 15, 8, 5, and 4 patients, respectively. Eighteen out of the 28 patients who were sensitized by SPT gave positive history of food allergy, while ten patients had no suggestive history; also, history suggestive of food allergy was negative in 35.7% of sensitized patients versus 61.1% of non-sensitized patients CONCLUSIONS: Food sensitization is common in preschool Egyptian children with recurrent wheezing.
Food sensitization is common in children with prevalence up to 10%, and in atopic children up to 30%.Sensitization to fish was the most common type of sensitization observed among preschool children with recurrent wheezing, followed by milk, eggs, and wheat, respectively.SPT aided by history is a good screening tool to determine whether patients need to avoid some foods that can cause allergy in order to help in controlling their symptoms.