2015 AAAAI Annual Meeting: Understanding Adolescent Food Allergy Risk-Taking Behavior

In just one short week, I will be heading to balmy Houston, Texas for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.  While I'm there I will be presenting three of our ongoing research projects--two of which related to childhood food allergy and another which reports findings from a recent school-based asthma intervention.  Since I love you guys so much, in the next week or so I'll provide a sneak peek of the work I'll be presenting at the conference.  Today I'll start by sharing findings from an ongoing study entitled: Understanding Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents with Food Allergy

So we know that the risk of a food allergy fatality from anaphylaxis is higher among adolescents and young adults than in other groups.  However, there has been very little research into the types of risk-taking behaviors that food allergic adolescents currently engage in.  To learn more about adolescent risk taking behavior we have been administering a short web-based survey to 14-22 year-olds with food allergy.  Survey questions assess food allergy history, food allergy reactions, food allergy risks, food allergy support, general risk assessment, and demographics.  

Though data collection is still ongoing, preliminary results (N=80) indicate respondents are mostly female (70%), white (88%), with an average age of 16.6 years (SD=2.1). Regarding selected risk-taking behaviors analyzed, 11% of respondents do not believe their allergy is life-threatening. . Additionally, 14% consume homemade foods not knowing what they contain. Importantly, 8% of respondents do not carry injectable epinephrine, and 44% do not wear medical jewelry. Once data collection is complete we will identify best practices for adolescents and formulate recommendations for risk reduction and continued research.  Expect more news later this year!