Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 98–110 | Cite as

Regional Differences in Food Allergies

  • Rui Tang
  • Zi-Xi Wang
  • Chun-Mei Ji
  • Patrick S. C. Leung
  • Elena Woo
  • Christopher Chang
  • Meng Wang
  • Bin LiuEmail author
  • Ji-Fu WeiEmail author
  • Jin-Lyu SunEmail author


The prevalence of food allergies is increasing worldwide. To understand the regional specificities of food allergies and develop effective therapeutic interventions, extensive regional epidemiological studies are necessary. While data regarding incidence, prevalence, regional variation, and treatment in food allergies are available for western countries, such studies may not be available in many Asian countries. China accounts for almost 20% of the world’s population and has a vast ethnic diversity, but large-scale meta-analyses of epidemiological studies of food allergy in China are lacking. A literature search revealed 22 publications on the prevalence of food allergy in Chinese populations. A review of these studies showed that the prevalence of food allergies in China is comparable to that in western countries, even though the Chinese diet is vastly different from that of the West and may vary even greatly within China, and finally, specific antigenic triggers of food allergy vary between China and the West and also within China. Current clinical management of food allergy in China includes allergen-specific immunotherapy, Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and Western medicine. This study demonstrates an unmet need in China for a thorough investigation of the prevalence of food allergies in China, the specific foods involved, and characterization of the specific antigenic triggers of food allergy with respect to ethnicity, age, and diet in China.


Food allergy Prevalence Incidence Type Therapy Immunotherapy 



This project was sponsored by the grants from CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences (CIFMS: 2016-I2M-1003), the grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81771725), the grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81771725, 81871265, and 81571568), and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AllergyPeking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing Key Laboratory of Precision Medicine for Diagnosis and Treatment on Allergic DiseasesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Research Division of Clinical PharmacologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyUniversity of California at DavisDavisUSA
  4. 4.Pediatric Immunology and AllergyJoe DiMaggio Children’s HospitalHollywoodUSA
  5. 5.School of MedicineTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  6. 6.Department of Immunology and RheumatologyThe Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao UniversityQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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