Table of Contents
Journal of Allergy
Volume 2009, Article ID 159845, 7 pages
Research Article

Sex Disparity in Food Allergy: Evidence from the PubMed Database

1Nutritional Immunology Program, Food Allergy and Immunology Laboratory, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2National Food Safety & Toxicology Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Received 25 January 2009; Accepted 4 June 2009

Academic Editor: Fabienne Rancé

Copyright © 2009 Caleb Kelly and Venu Gangur. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Food allergies are potentially fatal immune-mediated disorders that are growing globally. The relationship between sex and food allergy remains incompletely understood. Here we tested the hypothesis that, should sex influence the clinical response to food allergens, this would be reflected by a sex disparity in published studies of food allergy. We performed a systematic search of the PubMed literature for IgE-mediated allergy to 11 allergenic foods of international regulatory importance. No date restriction was used and only articles in English were considered. Of the 4744 articles retrieved, 591 met the inclusion criteria representing 17528 subjects with food allergies. Whereas among children with food allergies, 64.35% were males and 35.65% were females (male/female ratio, 1.80), among adults 34.82% were males and 65.18% were females (male/female ratio, 0.53). Consequently, these data argue that there is need for further investigation to define the role of sex in the pathogenesis of food allergy.