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Keywords:

  • adolescents;
  • autoinjector;
  • epinephrine;
  • food allergy;
  • prevalence

To cite this article: Flokstra-de Blok BMJ, van Ginkel CD, Roerdink EM, Kroeze MAJM, Stel AA, van der Meulen GN, Dubois AEJ. Extremely low prevalence of epinephrine autoinjectors in high-risk food-allergic adolescents in Dutch high schools. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011; 22: 374–377.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of probable food allergy in adolescents aged 11–20 and to examine the frequency of epinephrine autoinjector (EAI) ownership among high-risk individuals. Adolescents were screened followed by a more detailed telephone questionnaire inquiring about suspected food(s), symptoms, diagnosis, and use of an EAI. The participating adolescents were classified as probably or unlikely to be food-allergic. The need for an EAI was assessed. In total, 2284 adolescents completed the screening questionnaire, of which 396 indicated food to be a problem and 168 agreed to be interviewed. Forty-eight adolescents were classified as probably food-allergic, of which eight were not aware of their food allergy. Twenty-three adolescents were considered candidates for an EAI, whereas only two of them had been prescribed this medication. The calculated questionnaire-based prevalence of EAI need was 3.0% (minimal prevalence at least 1.0%), whereas the EAI ownership was 0.09%. In conclusion, we found an alarming under prescription of EAIs in school-going adolescents.