Prevalence estimates of eight big food allergies in Europe: Updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Giulia C. I. Spolidoro, Mohamed Mustafa Ali, Yohannes Tesfaye Amera, Sungkutu Nyassi, Daniil Lisik, Athina Ioannidou, Graciela Rovner, Ekaterina Khaleva, Carina Venter, Ronald van Ree, Margitta Worm, Berber Vlieg-Boerstra, Aziz Sheikh, Antonella Muraro, Graham Roberts, Bright I. Nwaru*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Abstract In 2014, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology published prevalence estimates for food allergy (FA) and food sensitization (FS) to the so-called eight big food allergens (i.e. cow's milk, egg, wheat, soy, peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish) in Europe for studies published between 2000 and 2012. The current work provides 10-year updated prevalence estimates for these food allergens. A protocol was registered on PROSPERO before starting the research (reference number CRD42021266657). Six databases were searched for studies published 2012–2021, added to studies published up to 2012, resulting in a total of 93 studies. Most studies were graded as at moderate risk of bias. The overall pooled estimates for all age groups of self-reported lifetime prevalence were as follows: cow's milk (5.7 95.4–6.9), egg (2.4 1.8–3.0), wheat (1.6 0.9–2.3), soy (0.5 0.3–0.7), peanut (1.5 1.0–2.1), tree nuts (0.9 0.6–1.2), fish (1.4 0.8–2.0) and shellfish (0.4 0.3–0.6). The point prevalence of food challenge-verified allergy were as follows: cow's milk (0.3 0.1–0.5), egg (0.8 0.5–1.2), wheat (0.1 0.01–0.2), soy (0.3 0.1–0.4), peanut (0.1 0.0–0.2), tree nuts (0.04 0.02–0.1), fish (0.02 0.0–0.1) and shellfish (0.1 0.0–0.2). With some exceptions, the prevalence of allergy to common foods did not substantially change during the last decade; variations by European regions were observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2361-2417
Number of pages57
Issue number9
Early online date5 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • epidemiology
  • Europe
  • food allergy
  • sensitization
  • systematic review


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