Clinical features and culprit food allergens of Korean adult food allergy patients: A cross-sectional single-institute study

Sang Chul Lee, Sung Ryeol Kim, Kyung Hee Park, Jae Hyun Lee, Jung Won Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the causative allergens and clinical characteristics of Korean adult patients with food allergy (FA). Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional single-institutional study enrolled Korean adult patients (n = 812) suspected of having FA. For diagnosis, causality assessment history taking, ImmunoCAP specific immunoglobulin E measurement and/or skin prick test were performed. Results: Among 812 patients, 415 were diagnosed as having FA. The most common causative allergen was fruit, with a diagnosis of pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS: 155, 37.3%), followed by crustaceans (111, 26.7%), wheat (63, 15.1%), fruits in patients without PFAS(43, 10.3%), buckwheat (31, 7.4%), peanut (31, 7.4%), walnut (25, 6.0%), red meat due to reaction to galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal) (8, 1.9%), and silkworm pupa (13, 3.1%). Allergy to egg, milk, fish, or shellfish was rare in Korean adults. One-third of patients with FA exhibited multiple FAs (238/415, 57.3%); the average number of causative allergens was 2.39. About 129 patients (31.0%) were diagnosed as having anaphylaxis; in these patients, wheat was the most frequent causative food. Twenty patients were further diagnosed with food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA); all were due to wheat. In particular, crustaceans, wheat, PFAS, buckwheat, and red meat (α-Gal) were also frequent causes of anaphylaxis. Conclusions: Wheat, fruits with or without PFAS, and crustaceans are important and frequent causative allergens in Korean adult FA; these allergens differ from those found in childhood FA. It is notable that non-classic allergies, such as PFAS, FDEIA, and α-Gal allergy, are the important causes of anaphylaxis in Korean adult FA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-735
Number of pages13
JournalAllergy, Asthma and Immunology Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Korean Academy of Asthma.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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