Purpose: Pollen-food allergy syndrome (PFAS) is an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergy in pollinosis patients caused by raw fruits and vegetables and is the most common food allergy in adults. However, there has been no nationwide study on PFAS in Korea. In this study, we investigated the prevalence and clinical characteristics of PFAS in Korea. Methods: Twenty-two investigators participated in this study, in which patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and/or bronchial asthma with pollen allergy were enrolled. The questionnaires included demographic characteristics, a list of fruits and vegetables, and clinical manifestations of food allergy. Pollen allergy was diagnosed by skin prick test and/or measurement of the serum level of specific IgE. Results: A total of 648 pollinosis patients were enrolled. The prevalence of PFAS was 41.7% (n = 270). PFAS patients exhibited cutaneous (43.0%), respiratory (20.0%), cardiovascular (3.7%) or neurologic symptoms (4.8%) in addition to oropharyngeal symptoms. Anaphylaxis was noted in 8.9% of the PFAS patients. Seventy types of foods were linked to PFAS; e.g., peach (48.5%), apple (46.7%), kiwi (30.4%), peanut (17.4%), plum (16.3%), chestnut (14.8%), pineapple (13.7%), walnut (14.1%), Korean melon (12.6%), tomato (11.9%), melon (11.5%) and apricot (10.7%). Korean foods such as taro/taro stem (8.9%), ginseong (8.2%), perilla leaf (4.4%), bellflower root (4.4%), crown daisy (3.0%), deodeok (3.3%), kudzu root (3.0%) and lotus root (2.6%) were also linked to PFAS. Conclusions: This was the first nationwide study of PFAS in Korea. The prevalence of PFAS was 41.7%, and 8.9% of the PFAS patients had anaphylaxis. These results will provide clinically useful information to physicians.
- Food allergy
- Pollen-food allergy syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine