BackgroundThere is currently considerable uncertainty regarding what the predictors of the severity of diagnostic or accidental food allergic reactions are, and to what extent the severity of such reactions can be predicted.
ObjectiveTo identify predictors for the severity of diagnostic and accidental food allergic reactions and to quantify their impact.
MethodsThe study population consisted of children with a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC)-confirmed food allergy to milk, egg, peanut, cashew nut, and/or hazelnut. The data were analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis. Missing values were imputed using multiple imputation techniques. Two scoring systems were used to determine the severity of the reactions.
ResultsA total of 734 children were included. Independent predictors for the severity of the DBPCFC reaction were age (B = 0.04, P = .001), skin prick test ratio (B = 0.30, P <.001), eliciting dose (B = -0.09, P <.001), level of specific immunoglobulin E (B = 0.15, P <.001), reaction time during the DBPCFC (B = -0.01, P = .004), and severity of accidental reaction (B = 0.08, P = .015). The total explained variance of this model was 23.5%, and the eliciting dose only contributed 4.4% to the model. Independent predictors for more severe accidental reactions with an explained variance of 7.3% were age (B = 0.03, P = .014), milk as causative food (B = 0.77, P <.001), cashew as causative food (B = 0.54, P <.001), history of atopic dermatitis (B = -0.47, P = .006), and severity of DBPCFC reaction (B = 0.12, P = .003).
ConclusionsThe severity of DBPCFCs and accidental reactions to food remains largely unpredictable. Clinicians should not use the eliciting dose obtained from a graded food challenge for the purposes of making risk-related management decisions.