Study finds increased prevalence of Eosinophilic Esophagitis in racial minorities

Published Online: July 8, 2015

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic allergy-driven inflammatory condition that affects both children and adults, and can cause symptoms of heartburn, choking, and feeding/swallowing difficulty.

According to a study by Kim et al, recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, 4.5 in every 10,000 Southern Californians have eosinophilic esophagitis. The study's findings are based on an analysis of medical records of approximately 3.5 million Southern California Kaiser Permanente patients, of who about 1,500 (some 1,300 adults and 200 children) were found to have been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis.

Prevalence estimates for this disorder in the past have shown that the disease was more common in adults than in children, in men than in women, and in whites than in those from racial minority groups. However, Kim et al, using the validated population-based cohort of the Southern California Kaiser Permanente membership (validated to be representative of the overall Southern California population with regard to age, sex, race, and other sociodemographic factors), found that there was a higher proportion of diseased children from racial minority backgrounds, compared to adults.

This indicates that inclusion of minorities (especially children) in future studies may reveal important insights into the mechanisms of disease.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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