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eISSN: 1643-3750

Prevalence of Self-Reported Food Allergy in Six Regions of Inner Mongolia, Northern China: A Population-Based Survey

Xiao-Yan Wang, Yan Zhuang, Ting-Ting Ma, Biao Zhang, Xue-Yan Wang

Department of Allergy, Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:1902-1911

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908365

Available online:

Published: 2018-04-01

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of self-reported food allergy in 6 regions of Inner Mongolia, northern China.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A random cluster sampling population study using a field questionnaire was distributed to 4714 individuals in 6 regions within Inner Mongolia, northern China; the study included ethnic Mongol minorities and Chinese Han populations. The questionnaire obtained data on ethnicity, age, sex, level of education, income, socioeconomic status, rural versus urban location, medical and family history, and food allergy.
RESULTS: There were 4441 (73.5%) completed questionnaires. The prevalence of self-reported food allergy was 18.0% (15.2% men; 20.6% women) and was age-related, being significantly greater in children compared with adults (38.7% vs. 11.9%) (P<0.001). There was a significant difference in self-reported food allergy between rural and urban populations (14.6% vs. 21.4%) (P<0.001) and between Mongolian and Han populations (20.8% vs. 15.8%) (P<0.001). Socioeconomic status, higher education level, and increased family income were significantly correlated with the prevalence of food allergy (P<0.001). Participants with allergic diseases and atopic family history were at increased risk (OR>1, P<0.001). There were no significant associations between the prevalence of food allergy and birth history, infant feeding, and duration of breastfeeding.
CONCLUSIONS: An increase in the prevalence of self-reported food allergy was found in the Inner Mongolia region of northern China, which was greater in urban areas compared with rural areas.

Keywords: Food Hypersensitivity, Prevalence, Risk Factors, self report, Socioeconomic Factors