The predominance of seafood allergy in Vietnamese adults: results from the first population-based questionnaire survey

Le, Thu T.K., Tran, Thuy T.B., Ho, Huong T.M., Vu, An T.L., McBryde, Emma, and Lopata, Andreas L. (2020) The predominance of seafood allergy in Vietnamese adults: results from the first population-based questionnaire survey. World Allergy Organization Journal, 13 (3).

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Background: Food allergy (FA) is a serious, costly and growing health problem worldwide. FA occurs in both children and adults; however, there is a paucity of information on FA prevalence and its clinical features in the adult population, especially in Asia. We sought to assess the prevalence of FAs in Vietnamese adults and the distribution of offending food items among different regions throughout Vietnam.

Methods: A nationwide, cross-sectional, population-based survey was conducted among University students aged 16-50 years. We used a structured, anonymous questionnaire, which was modified from recently published FA epidemiologic studies and based on European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) guidelines, to collect data on FA prevalence, clinical presentations, and implicated food groups. Statistical analysis was performed to generate the prevalence of self-reported and doctor-diagnosed FA and to examine the association of key environmental factors and FA incidence in this population.

Results: Of the 14,500 surveys distributed, a total of 9,039 responses were returned, resulting in a response rate of 62.4%. Among participants who reported food-induced adverse reactions, 48.0% have repeated reactions. 18.0% of the participants perceived FA symptoms, but less than half of them sought medical services for confirmation (37.9%). Stratifying for true FA symptoms, the prevalence of self-reported FA was 11.8% and of doctor-diagnosed FA, 4.6%. The most common doctordiagnosed FA was to crustacean (3.0%; 95% CI, 2.6-3.3), followed by fish (1.6%; 95% CI, 1.3-1.8), mollusk (1.3%; 95% CI, 1.0-1.5) and beef (1.0%; 95% CI, 0.8-1.2). The prevalence of doctordiagnosed FA differed among participants living in urban (6.5%) and rural regions (4.9%) (P< 0.001). Atopic family history was the strongest predictor for FA(odds ratio 8.0; 95% CI, 6.2-10.4).

Conclusions: Seafood allergy among adults is predominant in Vietnam, followed by beef, milk, and egg, while peanut, soy, and tree nut allergy are much less common. Populations in rural regions have considerably less FA; however, the protective environmental factors have yet to be identified.

Item ID: 63295
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1939-4551
Keywords: Adults, Food allergy, Prevalence, Seafood allergy, Vietnam
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of World Allergy Organization. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC 1086656
Date Deposited: 27 May 2020 07:43
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3204 Immunology > 320401 Allergy @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420208 Nutritional epidemiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920108 Immune System and Allergy @ 100%
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