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Adult food-induced anaphylaxis hospital presentations in New Zealand
  1. Bridget Kool1,
  2. Devika Chandra2,
  3. Penny Fitzharris3
  1. 1Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  3. 3Immunology Department, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bridget Kool, Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; b.kool{at}


Background Food allergy including anaphylaxis is an increasing clinical problem in many countries. Little information is available regarding prevalence, causative foods and time trends in the New Zealand adult population.

Objective This cross-sectional study investigated the incidence of hospital presentation with food-induced anaphylaxis in New Zealand among adults and adolescents over a 10-year period.

Methods Ministry of Health hospital discharge data from 2002 to 2011 were analysed using food allergy and anaphylaxis-related International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes to identify acute hospital presentations.

Results There was an average annualised rate of hospital food-induced anaphylaxis presentations of 4.8 per 100 000 adults (aged ≥15 years) for the period reviewed. Subgroup analyses revealed significant differences by gender, age group and ethnicity, notably higher rates in females, younger adults (15–34 years) and Pacific Island populations. Seafood was the most common food allergen group, followed by nuts. Time trend analysis revealed a 1.7-fold increase in the 10-year period, mainly attributable to an increase in rates in the Pacific Island population.

Conclusions These data confirm food-induced anaphylaxis as an increasing problem in New Zealand and show significant differences in incidence of hospital presentation in different ethnic populations. Future research will be required to understand and address disparities in the incidence of these conditions.

  • food allergy
  • anaphylaxis
  • New Zealand
  • hospital presentations

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  • Contributors BK and DC developed the initial study concept and design. PF provided advisory input into the study design. DC cleaned and analysed the data. BK provided academic oversight for the data cleaning and analysis. DC prepared the first draft of the paper. BK and PF contributed to the interpretation of the data, the preparation of the manuscript, and revised it critically for important intellectual content. Final approval of the version to be published has been given by all authors.

  • Funding DC was the recipient of a University of Auckland Summer Research Studentship supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.