Food Allergy–Related Risk-Taking and Management Behaviors Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Christopher M. Warren, Ashley A. Dyer, Alana K. Otto, Bridget M. Smith, Kristen Kauke, Chitra Dinakar, Ruchi S. Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Food allergy (FA) affects 8% of children and adolescents in the United States. Nearly 40% of those affected have experienced severe reactions. Fatal food-induced anaphylaxis is most common among adolescents and young adults (AYA); however, FA-related risk behaviors persist in this population and factors associated with these behaviors remain unclear. Objective To characterize FA-related risk-taking and self-management behaviors of AYA with FA. Methods A cross-sectional survey was administered to 200 AYA with FA. Latent class analysis was used to identify distinct behavioral risk classes and predictors of risk class membership. Results Two distinct FA behavioral risk classes were identified, representing less (N = 120) and more (N = 80) risky subpopulations. After adjusting for age, sex, and anaphylaxis history, odds of more risky class membership were significantly reduced for AYA with peanut allergy (odds ratio [OR], 0.27; 95% CI, 0.11-0.65), supportive female friends (OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.07-0.99), overprotective mothers (OR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.18-0.97), teachers who are aware of their FA (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.17-0.91), a history of being bullied (OR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.09-0.51), and an established 504 education plan (OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.15-0.81). AYA also reported numerous positive outcomes of their FA, such as greater responsibility, empathy, and improved diet, which was significantly associated with reduced odds of risky class membership (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.18-0.80). Conclusions Among AYA, increased FA-related risk-taking was associated with clinical, demographic, and social factors, including peanut allergy, greater age, as well as absence of social support and specific school FA policies. These associations may be used to inform future interventions designed to address FA-related risk and management behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-390.e13
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Keywords

  • Adolescents and young adults (AYA)
  • Food allergy
  • Latent class analysis (LCA)
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Self-management
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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