While Health Related Quality of Life has been investigated among children with IgE-mediated food allergy, less is known about quality of life among children with other types of hypersensitivity to food. The aim of this study was to investigate Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) in children with and without food hypersensitivity. Further, we compared HRQL between children with different phenotypes of food hypersensitivity.
In a large population-based cohort of schoolchildren in Northern Sweden, the parents of 2,612 (96% of invited) completed a questionnaire. All 125 (5%) children who reported complete elimination of milk, egg, fish or wheat due to food hypersensitivity were invited to a clinical examination and 94 children participated. Of these, 75 children also completed a generic (KIDSCREEN -52) and a disease-specific HRQL questionnaire (FAQLQ-TF). Thereafter, these children were categorised into the different phenotypes: current food allergy, outgrown food allergy, and lactose intolerance. Additionally, 209 children with unrestricted diets answered the generic questionnaire.
The median score of all KIDSCREEN -52 domains were above the population norm of 50 both in children with and without food hypersensitivity. No significant differences in distribution in generic or disease-specific HRQL were found between children with or without food hypersensitivity. There were no significant differences in HRQL between children with different phenotypes of food hypersensitivity. However, children with current food allergy tended to have the lowest HRQL. Further, poor HRQL defined as ≥75th percentile for the disease specific score was significantly more common in the current food allergy phenotype in the domain Emotional impact and the total FAQLQ, compared to the other phenotypes.
In this population-based study, 12-13 year old children reported good HRQL regardless of having food hypersensitivity or not. However, the children with the current phenotype reported lower HRQL than the other phenotypes.