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Keywords:

  • epidemiology;
  • food allergy;
  • paediatrics

To cite this article: Wong GWK, Mahesh PA, Ogorodova L, Leung TF, Fedorova O, Holla AD, Fernandez-Rivas M, Clare Mills EN, Kummeling I, van Ree R, Yazdanbakhsh M, Burney P. The EuroPrevall-INCO surveys on the prevalence of food allergies in children from China, India and Russia: the study methodology. Allergy 2010; 65: 385–390.

Abstract

Background:  Very little is known regarding the global variations in the prevalence of food allergies. The EuroPrevall-INCO project has been developed to evaluate the prevalence of food allergies in China, India and Russia using the standardized methodology of the EuroPrevall protocol used for studies in the European Union. The epidemiological surveys of the project were designed to estimate variations in the prevalence of food allergy and exposure to known or suspected risk factors for food allergy and to compare the data with different European countries.

Methods:  Random samples of primary schoolchildren were recruited from urban and rural regions of China, Russia and India for screening to ascertain possible adverse reactions to foods. Cases and controls were then selected to answer a detailed questionnaire designed to evaluate the possible risk factors of food allergies. Objective evidence of sensitisation including skin-prick test and serum specific IgE measurement was also collected.

Results:  More than 37 000 children from the three participating countries have been screened. The response rates for the screening phase ranged from 83% to 95%. More than 3000 cases and controls were studied in the second phase of the study. Furthur confirmation of food allergies by double blind food challenge was conducted.

Conclusions:  This will be the first comparative study of the epidemiology of food allergies in China, India, and Russia using the same standardized methodology. The findings of these surveys will complement the data obtained from Europe and provide insights into the development of food allergy.