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Vol. 44. Issue 6.
Pages 563-570 (November - December 2016)
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Vol. 44. Issue 6.
Pages 563-570 (November - December 2016)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.aller.2016.03.003
Parent-reported prevalence of food allergy in Mexican schoolchildren: A population-based study
N. Ontiverosa, E.E. Valdez-Mezab, M.J. Vergara-Jiménezb, A. Canizalez-Románc, A. Borzutzkyd,e, F. Cabrera-Chávezb,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
a Regional Program for PhD in Biotechnology, FCQB, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Culiacán, Sinaloa 80019, Mexico
b Nutrition Sciences Academic Unit, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Culiacán, Sinaloa 80019, Mexico
c School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Culiacán, Sinaloa 80019, Mexico
d Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
e Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
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Tables (2)
Table 1. Demographic and clinical characteristics of the study population.
Table 2. Prevalence estimations.
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Food allergy (FA) prevalence is well documented in developed countries and appears to be increasing, but remains unknown in most Latin American countries. We aimed to evaluate on a population basis the parent-reported prevalence of FA and its clinical characteristics in Mexican schoolchildren.


A validated Spanish version of a structured written questionnaire was administered to parents of schoolchildren aged 5–13 years old from Culiacan, Mexico.


A total of 1049 parents responded to the survey (response rate, 84%). The estimated prevalence rates (95% CI) were: adverse food reactions 10.0% (8.3–11.9), “perceived FA, ever” 5.5% (4.3–7.0), “physician-diagnosed FA, ever” 4.9% (3.7–6.3), “immediate-type FA, ever” 4.4% (3.3–5.8), “immediate-type FA, current” 3.5% (2.6–4.8), and anaphylaxis 1.2% (0.72–2.1). Immediate hypersensitivity reactions were mainly triggered by the consumption of shrimp (1.3%), other shellfish (0.7%), strawberry (0.6%), chocolate (0.5%), and egg (0.4%). Schoolchildren with “immediate-type FA, current” had more atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis (p<0.05), but not asthma or drug allergy (p>0.05) than children without FA. All cases of anaphylaxis sought medical attention, but only one child had physician-diagnosed anaphylaxis and was advised to acquire an epinephrine autoinjector.


The prevalence of “immediate-type FA, current” to any food is 3.5% in Mexican schoolchildren. The poor recognition of anaphylaxis and the low frequency of prescription of epinephrine autoinjectors suggest that acute food-induced allergic reactions are not optimally managed in Mexico.

Food allergy
Immediate hypersensitivity


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