The prevalence of parent reported food hypersensitivity at school entry in Malta.
AuthorsAbdilla, Maria M. P.
MetadataShow full item record
Other TitlesFood hypersensitivity in the paediatric population.
AbstractIntroduction This research aimed to provide local statistics in the area of food hypersensitivity in the paediatric population, as the prevalence of such allergic and non-allergic food hypersensitivity (intolerance) to food in Malta at the present time is previously undocumented. The main food which causes hypersensitivity in the population under study has been identified and compared to the main causes of hypersensitivity in other countries. Method Between January and March 2015, every school in Malta which includes Year 1 children (5-to 6-yr-olds) (N=83 schools) was invited to participate in this research study. Participant schools (n=42) were then provided with a questionnaire to be distributed to those parents who had previously reported food related hypersensitivity to the school through the health information sheet. Results The point prevalence for food hypersensitivity in the 5-to 6-yr-old participant population in the study was found to be 2.5%. Of the foods causing hypersensitivity in the studied group, milk and milk products were the main causes, affecting 38.9% and 30.6% of participant children respectively, followed by tree nuts (22.2%). 7 Conclusion The 2.5% point prevalence of Year 1 5-to 6-yr old children with food hypersensitivity, indicates the level of action required on allergic and non-allergic food hypersensitivity in Malta. This includes the need for school policy guidelines on food hypersensitivity. Such local statistics also indicate that the Health Department needs to direct attention to this field. This could possibly include the set-up of a state clinic that holistically assists all patients with heightened reaction to food.
CitationAbdilla, M. M. P. (2016). The prevalence of parent reported food hypersensitivity at school entry in Malta (Master's thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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