Background: Food allergies are becoming a global concern and pose a significant burden on allergic children and their family, with reported physical and emotional effects. Objective: To investigate the effect of food allergy on patients′ quality of life (QoL), to identify any characteristics associated with worse QoL, and to directly compare the effect of food allergies on the QoL of adolescents vs younger children. Methods: Children 0 to 17 years old with a physician-confirmed food allergy diagnosis were invited to participate by completing the validated Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire (FAQLQ). The FAQLQ form for children 10 to 12 years old was completed by the parent (proxy report), whereas the FAQLQ form for adolescents was completed by the adolescent (self-report). Scores were compared using the Wilcoxon rank sum test. Independent median regressions were used to test association between potential risk factors and QoL outcomes. Results: In our cohort, the median FAQLQ score was significantly higher (reflecting lower QoL) in adolescents compared with children (4.7 vs 3.5, P = .007). The median social and dietary limitations score (5.2 vs 4, P = .002) and the median emotional impact score (3.8 vs 3.1, P = .02) were also higher in adolescents. Limitations in family activities because of food allergy had a negative effect on QoL. Conclusion: Food allergic adolescents are affected more than younger children (based on parental report) in terms of QoL, with a direct reflection on all areas of their daily life (emotional, dietary, and social). In addition, limitations in family activities because of the child′s food allergy significantly worsen the QoL and well being of all family members.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine