Anaphylaxis in the community: a questionnaire survey of members of the UK Anaphylaxis Campaign

Aziz Sheikh, Aadam Sheikh, Sangeeta Dhami, Lynne Regent, Moira Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives To examine the circumstances, features and management of anaphylaxis in children and adults.
Design Self-completed questionnaire.
Participants The age of participants ranged from 0 to 72 years.
Setting We analysed data from self-completed questionnaires collected over a 12-year period, i.e. 2001–2013, available to people by phone and, since 2012, for online completion through the Anaphylaxis Campaign.
Main outcome measure We analysed data from self-completed questionnaires collected over a 12- year period, i.e. 2001-2013, available to people by phone and, since 2012, for online completion through the Anaphylaxis Campaign
Results In total, 356 questionnaires were submitted, of which 54 did not meet the criteria for anaphylaxis. The remaining 302 anaphylactic reactions originated from 243 individuals; 193 (64%) of these reactions were in children. Approximately half of all reactions occurred at home (n = 148; 49%); 61% (n = 193) of reactions occurred in those reporting a history of asthma, and many (n = 76; 41%) of these individuals had asthma that they classified as being severe. In 57% (n = 173) cases, the respondent reacted to a known allergen. Self-injectable adrenaline (epinephrine) was available in 79% of the cases, and it was only used in 38% of episodes. The usage of self-injected adrenaline was lower in children (30%) than in adults (54%), even though 82% of children had adrenaline available at the time of the reaction compared to 74% of adults.
Conclusions These data suggest that the majority of anaphylaxis reactions are triggered by exposure to known food allergens and that approximately half of these reactions occur at home. Access to self-injectable adrenaline was sub-optimal and when available it was only used in a minority of cases. Avoiding triggers, access to self-injectable adrenaline and its prompt use in the context of reactions need to be reinforced.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalJRSM Open
Volume6
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • anaphylaxis, allergy, asthma

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