Association of food allergy and decreased lung function in children and young adults with asthma

Michael G. Sherenian*, Anne M. Singh, Lester Arguelles, Lauren Balmert, Deanna Caruso, Xiaobin Wang, Jacqueline Pongracic, Rajesh Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Food allergy (FA) appears early in the atopic march, a progression that may lead to the development of asthma. The association between FA and pulmonary function in children with and without asthma remains unknown. Objective: To investigate the association between FA and lung function in children with and without asthma. Methods: We enrolled 1,068 children as a part of a family-based FA cohort. We then categorized children as having FA by physician diagnosis, evidence of specific IgE, and typical symptoms within 2 hours of food ingestion. We categorized asthma by physician diagnosis. We used American Thoracic Society criteria for spirometry measurements. We assessed the effects of asthma classification and FA number on lung function using mixed-effect models. Results: We enrolled 1,068 children: 417 (39%) had asthma, 402 (38%) had at least 1 FA, and 162 (15%) had 2 or more FAs. Unstratified analyses found no significant association between FA number and lung function. In children with asthma, we detected statistically significant differences in predicted forced expiratory flow at 25% to 75% between children with 2 or more FAs compared with those with none (mean [SE] β = −7.5 [3.6]; P =.04). This effect lost significance after adjusting for aeroallergen sensitization. We detected no significant associations between FA number and predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second, forced vital capacity, and ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity. Conclusion: Having 2 or more FAs is a potential risk factor for greater small airway airflow obstruction among children with asthma, highlighting the need for close clinical follow-up and improved intervention strategies for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-593.e1
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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