An epidemiological rise of allergic diseases in developing countries raises new challenges. Currently a paucity of data exists describing allergy symptomology and sensitization to common food and aeroallergens in young children from developing countries.
To compare changes in symptomology, food allergen sensitization and aeroallergen sensitization in a cross-sectional study of children <2 years and 2-10 years.
A total of 192 allergic children (aged <2 years, 35 children; aged 2-10 years, 157 children) underwent specific IgE (>0.35 kU/L) to common food (egg white, cow's milk, cod fish, wheat, peanut, soya, peanut, and shrimp) and house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Blomia tropicalis).
In children <2 years, atopic dermatitis (65.7%) was the most common symptom whereas in children 2-10 years it was rhinoconjunctivitis (74.5%). Higher sensitization rate to eggs (p < 0.01) and cow's milk (p = 0.044) was seen in <2 years group when compared to the 2-10 years group, but no significant differences for shrimp (p = 0.29), wheat (p = 0.23) and soya (p = 0.057). Interestingly, sensitization to peanut (p = 0.012) and fish (p = 0.035) was significantly decreased in the 2-10 years group. Sensitization to house dust mites (p < 0.01) dramatically increased in the older children.
Our study supports concept of atopic march from a developing country like Malaysia.