PhD Scientific Days 2021

Budapest, 7-8 July 2021

CL_VI_L: Clinical Medicine VI. Lectures

Food allergy, or not - that is the question

dr. Dóra Solymosi 1, Prof. dr. Miklós Sárdy 2, dr. Györgyi Pónyai 2

1 Doctoral School of Clinical Medicine, Semmelweis University
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Dermatooncology, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest

2 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Dermatooncology, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest

Text of the abstract

Introduction:
Adults frequently (mis)interpret food-associated adverse reactions as indicators of a food allergy. However, the public perception of food allergy may differ from a clinician's point of view.

Aim:
The aim of this study was to describe patient-reported symptoms related to suspected food allergies.

Methods:
In this prospective study, adult (≥18 years) patients were examined at the Allergology Outpatient Unit of the Dept. of Dermatology, Venereology, and Dermatooncology, Semmelweis University, Budapest. The examination included a detailed medical history; physical examination; and, when necessary the measurement of allergen specific serum IgE levels.

Results:
Data from 501 patients were analyzed. Intolerance to dietary biogenic amines occurred in 50% of the cases, oral allergy syndrome in 14%, and allergy to food preservatives in 3%. Five individuals were diagnosed with immunoglobulin E-mediated food allergy. In some cases, the edema-inducing/enhancing side effects of drugs were observed which patients had misattributed to various foods. Among the food groups considered to be provoking factors, the most frequently mentioned were fruits (40%), milk/dairy products (35%), and nuts/oilseeds (29%). Overwhelmingly, urticaria (47%) was the most common dermatological diagnosis, followed by dermatitis (20%) and allergic contact dermatitis (8%).

Conclusion:
Improvement is needed in food allergy, food intolerance, and general nutritional knowledge among the general public. According to our data, perceived /self-reported food allergies were overestimated by adults when compared against physician-confirmed food allergies; however, other diseases potentially responsible for food-related problems were underestimated.

Funding:
Semmelweis 250+ PhD Scholarship (EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00009)

University and Doctoral School

Semmelweis University, Károly Rácz Doctoral School of Clinical Medicine