Studies suggest that the prevalence of food allergy may be increasing worldwide. Results regarding the prevalence and features of adverse food reactions older people have, however, scarcely been analysed in the literature. Thus, the objective of the present systematic review will be to describe the prevalence of food allergy in older individuals, its risk factors, clinical features, as well as the most frequently and commonly involved foods.
We will conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the incidence, prevalence and risk factors for food allergy in older individuals. We will search international electronic databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, AMED and ISI Web of Science for published, unpublished and ongoing studies from 1980 toJanuary 2019. There will be no restriction on the language or geography of publication. We will use the critical appraisal skills programme quality assessment tool to appraise the methodological quality of included studies. A descriptive summary with data tables will be elaborated, and if deemed clinically relevant and statistically adequate, meta-analysis using random-effects modelling will be carried out, given the expected clinical, methodological and statistical heterogeneity of studies. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses checklist will guide reporting of the systematic review.
Since this systematic review will be solely based on published and retrievable literature, no ethics approval will be obtained. This study will allow us to draw up-to-date estimates of the prevalence of adverse food reactions in older individuals, worldwide, besides allowing the identification of its major risk factors, clinical manifestations and predominant foods responsible for such reactions. A multidisciplinary team has been assembled for this systematic review and will participate in relevant dissemination activities, namely reports, publications and presentations.