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Food Allergy Research

Prevalence, Severity and Distribution of Food Allergy in the United States

Prevalence, Severity and Distribution of Food Allergy in the United States

The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence, severity, and distribution of childhood and adult food allergy in the United States. After the landmark 2011 study that assessed prevalence in the pediatric population and showed that 8% of children (1 in 13) have a food allergy with 40% experiencing a severe reaction, SOAAR re-surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 40,000 households to examine the prevalence of FA in both childhood and adult populations.

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Prevalence, Severity and Distribution of Food Allergy in the United States

Food Allergy

Recipient of NIH R21 Funding

This study aims to estimate the national prevalence of food allergy among a representative sample of over 40,000 US households. Additionally, the survey inquired information on food allergic reaction symptomology, severity, management, etc. In November 2018, SOAAR published data on food allergy among the pediatric population in Pediatrics while their data on adult food allergy was published in January 2019 in JAMA Network Open.

To read the manuscripts on this study, follow the links below.

Understanding Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Food Allergy Among Medicaid Enrolled Children

Understanding Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Food Allergy Among Medicaid Enrolled Children

The goal of this study is to analyze the patterns of diagnosis and treatment among children with food allergy insured through the Medicaid program. With this data we will be able to analyze one year of Medicaid claims to describe the prevalence of food allergy and indicators of quality care adherent to clinical guidelines. We also will analyze the county-level hot spot maps to advance our understanding of the geographic disparities in care.

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Understanding Diagnosis and Management of Childhood Food Allergy Among Medicaid Enrolled Children

Food Allergy

This study aims to present a comprehensive baseline of the prevalence of food allergy among Medicaid-enrolled children in 2012 in the United States and idenfiy the characteristics with those with any food allergy diagnosis claims. In addition, the study will also develop and measure indicators of quality care following outpatient visits involving a FA diagnosis and ED visits for food induced anaphylaxis (FIA). Finally, it will also explore the county-level hot spot maps to advance our understanding of the geographic disparities in care.

Food Allergy Outcomes Related to White and African American Racial Differences (FORWARD)

Food Allergy Outcomes Related to White and African American Racial Differences (FORWARD)

This goal of this study is to develop a prospective longitudinal cohort to systematically investigate disparities between African American and Caucasian children in food allergy clinical and psycho-social outcomes, food allergy phenotypes and endotypes, and food allergy management practices.

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Food Allergy Outcomes Related to White and African American Racial Differences (FORWARD)

Food Allergy

Recipient of NIH R01 grant funding

FORWARD Objectives:

• Compare food allergy clinical and psychosocial outcomes among diverse populations
• Evaluate what immunological, gastrointestinal, and environmental factors contribute to the development of tolerance in children with food allergy
• Improve knowledge on the microbial components that could predict food allergies by taking samples of blood, skin, and gut microbiome

Recruitment

  • SOAAR is enrolling and following cohorts of African American and White children to determine differences in food allergy clinical and psychosocial outcomes, the ways and mechanisms through which their allergies manifest themselves, as well as their management practices.
  • A total of 1,000 families will be recruited. A total of 600 new families with children ages 0-12 will be recruited from allergy clinics in four academic medical centers located in three cities (Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; and Washington, DC).
  • Outcomes will be measured at baseline and at every three months for two years. Clinical medical record data, survey data, and biological samples will be obtained from participants.
The Food Allergy Management in Low Income Youth Study (The FAMILY Study)

The Food Allergy Management in Low Income Youth Study (The FAMILY Study)

The goal of this study is to fill the research gap by providing a patient-centered approach to studying food-allergy management amongst food allergic children and their families.

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The Food Allergy Management in Low Income Youth Study (The FAMILY Study)

Food Allergy

This study focuses on understanding the specific barriers low-income families experience while managing their children’s food allergy symptoms, and it aims use this information to create an effective management plan that is easy to follow and will improve a caregiver’s ability to effectively manage acute food allergy symptoms in children. The SOAAR team conducted a number of qualitative interviews with families to better understand these specific barriers and hope to use the information gained to make a substantial change in ensuring effective and understandable treatment plans are available for all families living with FA.

Understanding the Natural History of Food Allergy

Understanding the Natural History of Food Allergy

The goal of this study is to understand the natural progression of food allergy by launching a prospective, longitudinal cohort study of over 1,000 food allergic children.

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Understanding the Natural History of Food Allergy

Food Allergy

SOAAR recruited children with food allergy conducted through Chicago-based allergy clinics with over 500 currently enrolled and actively followed. Caregivers are surveyed over time on the following:

  • demographics,
  • current and outgrown food allergies,
  • history of reactions, treatment,
  • birth and early life factors,
  • comorbid conditions,
  • and family history
The Development and Evaluation of Educational Food Allergy Videos in Early Childhood

The Development and Evaluation of Educational Food Allergy Videos in Early Childhood

The goal of this study is to develop and evaluate three early childhood food allergy educational videos to educate young children, parents/caregivers, and EC educators/professionals on food allergy.

 

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The Development and Evaluation of Educational Food Allergy Videos in Early Childhood

Food Allergy

Food allergy education for the early childhood population (0-6 years old) is currently based on adaptations from elementary, middle, and high school populations. Therefore, SOAAR wishes to develop and evaluate three new educational videos/tools to help educate this population of young children, their parents/caregivers and early childhood educators and professionals about food allergy preparedness.

Understanding Precautionary Allergen Labeling Preferences among Food Allergy Stakeholders

Understanding Precautionary Allergen Labeling Preferences among Food Allergy Stakeholders

The goal of this study is to better understand how to communicate the risk of potential presence of allergens in products that could have cross-contact from shared manufacturing equipment.

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Understanding Precautionary Allergen Labeling Preferences among Food Allergy Stakeholders

Food Allergy

The goal of this study is to better understand how to communicate the risk of potential presence of allergens in products that could have cross-contact from shared manufacturing equipment. We aim to survey food allergy stakeholders about their understanding of current labeling and preferences for alternative labeling language to inform future FDA labeling policies.

Improving Food Allergy Preparedness on College Campuses

Improving Food Allergy Preparedness on College Campuses

The goal of this study is to explore the systems, structures, and policies that currently support students with food allergies at college, assess unmet needs, and develop pilot interventions through the use of patient-centered design processes.

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Improving Food Allergy Preparedness on College Campuses

Food Allergy

In 2016, SOAAR began working with graduate students from Northwestern University’s Engineering Design Innovation address the specific issues that students with life-threatening food allergies face on college campuses. The students created prototypes for a campus program called “Spotlight on Campus Allergies” and it consisted of  five essential services: Compass, Cares, Captivates, Connect and Confidence. The ultimate goal of this project will be to roll out Spotlight on campuses nationwide to establish support and awareness for students with food allergy transitioning into college life.

Interventions included the following components:

1) Spotlight Cares: Preparing for College

2) Orientation

3) Campus Clubs: Joining a Club Sports Team

4) External Food Vendors: Increasing the Use of Best Practices on Campus

5) Emergency Response: Addressing Emergencies Involving Anaphylaxis. Each of these five areas consisted of different support strategies and resources to aid students in their daily life on campus.

To read the published manuscript on this study, follow the link below!

Dyer AA, O’Keefe A, Kanaley MK, Kao LM, Gupta RS. Leaving the nest: Improving food allergy management on college campuses.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Jul;121(1):82-89.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2018.04.009. Epub 2018 Apr 18. PubMed PMID: 29679763.

Food Allergy Peer-to-Peer Educational Videos

Food Allergy Peer-to-Peer Educational Videos

The goal of this study was to create peer-to-peer food allergy educational videos for elementary, middle, and high school students using format and content preference data collected through surveys and interviews with children adolescents, and parents.

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Food Allergy Peer-to-Peer Educational Videos

Food Allergy

SOAAR created peer-to-peer food allergy educational videos for elementary, middle, and high school students using format and content preference data collected through surveys and interviews with children adolescents, and parents.The videos were then filmed and produced in collaboration with a wide variety of food allergy stakeholders. Each video was then evaluated to determine its effectiveness in changing student food allergy knowledge, beliefs and attitudes. The videos are available for free in a USB format and have been distributed nationwide.

Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of Children and Families with Life-Threatening Food Allergies

Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of Children and Families with Life-Threatening Food Allergies

The goal of this study is to interview pediatric allergists and parents of food-allergic children from the Chicago area to assess mental health needs of and appropriate interventions for children and families affected by food allergies.

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Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of Children and Families with Life-Threatening Food Allergies

Food Allergy

The goal of this study is to help children and families manage anxiety and build resilience in living with food allergies. By understanding food allergy quality of life events, the psychosocial impact of food allergy diagnosis and treatment, and how stages of development can influence anxiety about exposure to allergens and/or possible reactions, we hope to inform how to design and deliver mental health support.