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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Food-induced anaphylaxis among a population of adolescents – Report from the BAMSE survey

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Clinical and Translational Allergy20155 (Suppl 3) :O25

  • Published:


  • Steroid
  • Asthma
  • Birth Cohort
  • Additional Food
  • Annual Incidence


The epidemiology and early-life risk factors of food-induced anaphylaxis (“anaphylaxis”) in adolescence are incompletely understood.


To study aspects and early-life risk factors of food-induced anaphylaxis amongst adolescents.


Parent-reported questionnaire data from 2-3 months, and 1, 2 and 16 years from a large birth cohort were used (N=3153). Immunoglobulin E to 14 common allergens were analysed at 4 (n=2283) and 16 years (n=2510). In a subset of 371 adolescents, 15 additional food allergen extracts or components were analysed at 16 years. Data on dispensed adrenaline autoinjectors and inhaled steroids were extracted from a national register. Severity of food reactions and asthma were defined. The incidence of anaphylaxis was analysed in association with early-life risk factors.


In the 12 months prior to the study, 8.5% of adolescents reacted to food and 0.8% had anaphylaxis; the annual incidence of the latter was 761/100,000 person years. Only one-third of adolescents when experiencing anaphylaxis had contacted healthcare. Restricting analyses to these adolescents yielded an annual incidence of 240/100,000 person years. In the 24-months prior to the study, adrenaline autoinjectors were dispensed for 67% of those with reported symptoms defined by us as anaphylaxis according to international guidelines. The strongest early-life risk factors for anaphylaxis included sensitisation to foods at 4 years (OR=20.9, 95%CI 6.8-64) and food reactions (OR=17.7, 95%CI 6.91-45.2) between 1-2 years.


Anaphylaxis in adolescence is more common than previously reported in the literature. Early-life sensitisation and reactions to foods increase anaphylaxis risk in adolescence by more than 15-fold.

Authors’ Affiliations

Sachs’ Children and Youth Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Centre for Allergy, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Clinical Immunology and Allergy Unit, Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institute and University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden


© Vetander et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.