Prevalence and Correlates of Food Allergy Among Medicaid-Enrolled United States Children

Lucy A. Bilaver, Madeleine K. Kanaley, Jamie L. Fierstein, Ruchi S. Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive epidemiological profile detailing food allergy (FA) prevalence and related correlates among Medicaid-enrolled children. Methods: The 2012 Medicaid Analytic eXtract person-level 100% files for 50 states and the District of Columbia were analyzed. The analytic sample of 23,825,160 included all children ages 0 to 19 years as of January 1, 2012 who were continuously enrolled in Medicaid in 2012. The prevalence of FA was measured using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes and compared with other atopic conditions (atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma). Logistic regression was used to evaluate child characteristics associated with FA. Results: The prevalence of FA among Medicaid-enrolled children was less than 1% (0.6%). State-level prevalence ranged from a high of 1.4% in Alaska to a low of 0.2% in Nevada. 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. Conclusions: Compared with estimates of parent-reported, physician-diagnosed FA in the general population, the claims-based prevalence of FA among Medicaid-enrolled children is substantially lower. Racial and ethnic differences are consistent with the general population. The findings signal a need to better understand reasons for these differences including awareness, access to care, and service utilization patterns in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Medicaid
  • atopic
  • children
  • disparities
  • food allergy
  • prevalence
  • socioeconomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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