Food Allergy in Children with Asthma: Prevalence and Correlation with Clinical Severity of Respiratory Disease

E. Calamelli, G. Ricci*, V. Dell’Omo, B. Bendandi, M. Masi
Department of Paediatrics, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital; University of Bologna, Italy.

© 2008 Calamelli et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Paediatrics, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital; University of Bologna, Italy; E-mail:


Epidemiological evidence suggests that there is a link between asthma and food allergy. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of food allergy in asthmatic children and to evaluate a possible impact of food allergy on asthma severity. The study enrolled 103 asthmatic children (mean age: 11 years). Skin prick-test, dosage of specific IgE to a standardized panel of inhalant and food allergens and spirometric evaluation was made for each patient. Twenty-four (23%) patients presented food allergy, 75 (77%) were sensitized to at least one food. A lower rate of children with controlled symptoms was found in children with food allergy and a higher rate of persistent asthma was found in children sensitized to at least 4 foods. In conclusion, food allergy/sensitization should always be investigated in asthmatic children for its association with increasing severity (only in food sensitized patients) and reduced control of asthmatic symptoms.

Keywords: Asthma, food allergy, oral allergy syndrome.