Dig Dis Sci
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eosinophilic esophagitis, epidemiology, food allergy, parent–child cluster, parental allergies
BACKGROUND: Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergen-mediated, clinicopathological condition affecting all ages. The characteristics of children with EoE in the southwestern USA have not been fully described. Furthermore, very little is known about the relationship between parental allergies and risk of EoE in their offspring in this patient population. AIMS: To characterize children with EoE and to examine the relationship between prevalence of parental allergies and occurrence of EoE in their offspring at a single referral pediatric center in the southwestern USA. METHODS: Demographic and clinical information of 126 children (=18 years of age) with EoE was abstracted in a pre-determined data extraction form and analyzed. The allergy history was collected from biological parents of 61 children (parent-child cluster) with EoE in a standardized questionnaire and analyzed. RESULTS: The median age at presentation was 8 years (interquartile range 4-13). The majority of our patients were male (71 %) and Caucasian (59 %). Overall, 84 % of children reported allergies. Prevalence of food allergy was significantly higher compared to environmental allergies (P = 0.001). At least 46 % of parents reported allergies. A significantly higher proportion of fathers had developed allergies during their childhood compared to adulthood (P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: The characteristics of EoE in our patients were similar to those reported from other parts of the country. Childhood onset of paternal allergies appears to be a risk factor for occurrence of EoE in their offspring. Additional research to elucidate the relationship between parental allergies and occurrence of EoE in their offspring is warranted.
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