Socioeconomic Disparities in Prevalence of Childhood Food Allergies Interview with:
Julie Wang, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Allergy and Immunology
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY 10029


MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Wang: The results of this study demonstrate that differences in prevalence of reported food allergies exist in elementary schools representing diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic characteristic.  In this study, we conducted a survey at 4 elementary schools in New York City, 2 private schools that had a predominantly White student body with over 80% of families having paid a full tuition of over $35,000 per year and 2 public charter schools that had a primarily Black and Hispanic student body where over 90% of students qualified for free or reduced price school lunch.  The results show a high rate of reported food allergy, with rates significantly higher in the private school population as compared to the public charter school population.

MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Wang: These findings are similar to other reports showing that disparities in food allergy prevalence exist.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Wang: Further research is warranted to confirm and characterize the disparities in food allergy prevalence and to identify reasons for such disparities which may include differences in true prevalence, awareness and/or access to care.


Prevalence of food allergy in New York City school children

Taylor-Black, Sarah A. et al.

Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Published Online: April 22, 2014