Food allergy in adolescents and adults
Article first published online: 20 APR 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Internal Medicine Journal
Volume 39, Issue 7, pages 475–478, July 2009
How to Cite
Yun, J. and Katelaris, C. H. (2009), Food allergy in adolescents and adults. Internal Medicine Journal, 39: 475–478. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2009.01967.x
Conflict of interest: None.
- Issue published online: 21 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 20 APR 2009
- Received 14 September 2008; accepted 4 March 2009.
- food allergy;
- food cross-reactivity;
- oral allergy syndrome
There has been an increase in the prevalence of food allergy in the last few decades. Adult food allergy may represent persistence of reactions that commenced in infancy and early childhood or it may be initiated in adulthood through new sensitizations. Persistence of peanut allergy is an example of the former situation. Approximately 20% of children will develop tolerance to peanuts, so there will be an increasing number of individuals reaching adulthood where this problem will need ongoing management. In addition to peanut, tree nuts, fruits, vegetables and seafood are implicated as common causes of food allergy in adulthood. Sensitization may occur directly to a food allergen or indirectly through cross-reactivity with an aeroallergen. Adults may present with a spectrum of clinical manifestations from oral allergy syndrome to fatal anaphylaxis. The management of food allergy consists of appropriate education regarding avoidance of implicated foods, modifying potential risk factors for anaphylaxis, such as asthma and prompt recognition and treatment of acute reactions.