Bringing food allergy management and awareness to your community

Food Allergy Case Study for Pediatricians – Explanation to Question 8

Case 3
A 16 year old female presents to your office for a well-child exam. She has a history of peanut allergy but admits that she does not carry her epinephrine autoinjector. She feels that she is always careful in avoiding food with peanuts.
What advice would you give this patient regarding her risk of fatal anaphylaxis?

Explanation to Question 8

Teenagers are at higher risk for fatal food-induced anaphylaxis than younger children. In fact, recent data suggest that the dose provoking symptoms in peanut-allergic patients decreases with age, which may in part contribute to the observed difference in risk. Studies have also shown that adolescents have poor understanding of when food allergy reactions are severe and when epinephrine is indicated. Accidental exposure to peanuts and tree nuts are very common and has been reported to be as high as 48%. In addition, 54% of adolescents admit to purposefully eating potentially unsafe food.

The correct answer is B, foods may be unknowingly contaminated with peanuts and therefore having an epinephrine autoinjector is critical at all times.


1. Sampson M, Muñoz-Furlong A, Sicherer S. Risk-taking and coping strategies of adolescents and young adults with food allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006; 117:1440-45.
2. van der Zee T, Dubois A, Kerkhof M, van der Heide S, Vlieg-Boerstra B. The eliciting dose of peanut in double blind, placebo-controlled food challenges decreases with increasing age and specific IgE level in children and young adults. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2011; 128:1031-36.


All information contained on the website is intended for informational and educational purposes. The information provided on this website is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical advice. Any information that you have received from should be verified with your licensed health care provider. Furthermore, decisions regarding medical care should not be based solely upon the content of this website but made after discussions with your health care provider. Consumers should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice due to the content of this site.
Your use of this site does not create a patient-physician relationship between you and
Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this site or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this site or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.

Accept Decline