Various risk factors, including previous history of food allergy, may play an important role in predicting the development and the outcome of asthma in children. This study aims to assess the relationship of previous food allergy in infancy with asthma severity later in childhood.
Materials and Methods: Infants and children of up to 14 years of age referred to the Allergy Clinics of Azad University Hospitals in Tehran, Iran from October 2018 to October 2019 due to asthma were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. After confirming the diagnosis by a specialist physician and determining the level of severity, the patients’ caregivers were asked to fill out an eight-item researcher-made questionnaire. The questionnaire focused on family and the child’s history of allergy, specifically a previous history of clinically diagnosed food allergy.
Results: A total of 170 asthmatic patients with a mean age of 7.1±3 years were enrolled in the study. A meaningful relationship was found between food allergy and asthma (p < 0.001). Also, there was a significant relationship between having a history of food allergy in children with moderate and severe asthma compared to those with mild asthma (p<0.001). However, no such meaningful relationship was found when comparing moderate and severe asthma (p=0.6).
The findings suggested that food allergy in conjunction with a positive family history is a risk factor for persistent problematic asthma, which places patients at greater risk of morbidity. A history of previous food allergy was significantly associated with moderate to severe asthma compared to mild asthma.