The Role of Social, Economic and Environmental Factors in Food Allergy Disparities

Project: Research project

Project Details


Food allergy (FA) is a potentially life-threatening chronic condition that affects approximately 32 million U.S. children and adults. While an estimated 7.6% of U.S. children have FA, African-American non-Hispanic children have a significantly elevated risk relative to non-Hispanic white children. Among children enrolled in the Medicaid program, race and ethnicity were associated with FA such that Asian, Black, and Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian children had a higher odds of FA while Hispanic and Native American children had 15% and 24% lower odds of FA respectively compared with white children. In addition, racial disparities were observed in the likelihood of receiving guideline-based allergy care. Although evidence of disparities is growing, fewer studies have examined the source of disparities, especially modifiable factors such as features of the local food environment. In this study, we will use two medical claims databases to measure the diagnosis and management of children with food allergy. For individual-level analyses of racial disparities, we will employ the framework put forth in the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2003 report, Unequal Treatment. To date, there has been no systematic study of racial and ethnic disparities in food allergy diagnosis and management that attempts to decompose racial and ethnic differences according to the IOM definition and explain the contribution of social, economic, and environmental factors. This proposed two-year project will fill this gap in our understanding of racial and ethnic disparities in food allergy.
Effective start/end date11/1/2110/31/23


  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (1R21AI159562-01A1)


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