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Black Children More Likely to Have Fish, Shellfish Allergies

Shellfish allergy independently associated with having asthma, even after adjusting for race

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Compared with White children, African-American children have higher odds of allergy to shellfish and finfish, as well as higher rates of asthma, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Mahboobeh Mahdavinia, M.D., Ph.D., from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues used data from the Food Allergy Outcomes Related to White and African American Racial Differences study to assess phenotypic differences (e.g., allergies to different foods and allergic comorbidities) by race among children with food allergy (aged 0 to 12 years; 239 African-American and 425 White).

The researchers found that African-American children had significantly higher odds of allergy to finfish (adjusted odds ratio, 2.54) and shellfish (adjusted odds ratio, 3.10) compared with White children. There were also higher odds of asthma among African-American children versus White children (asthma prevalence: 60.5 versus 27.2 percent; adjusted odds ratio, 2.70). Even when controlling for race, shellfish allergy was independently associated with asthma.

“Understanding the varied risk of allergy to different food allergens in African-American children compared with Whites will guide our clinical practice in terms of history taking and additional testing,” the authors write.

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