BACKGROUND: Previous studies have suggested low vitamin D as a potential risk factor for food allergy/anaphylaxis. However, few studies have investigated the association between vitamin D and food-induced anaphylaxis (FIA) in South Korea. OBJECTIVE: To examine regional differences in serum vitamin D levels and FIA incidence. METHODS: We used nationwide data collected from 2011 to 2013. Data on vitamin D were obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: data on FIA were obtained from the Health Insurance and Assessment Service. Districts were grouped into region 1 (lower solar radiation) and region 2 (higher solar radiation). We examined differences in FIA incidence and vitamin D levels between the regions, adjusting for age. RESULTS: The study included 2,814 patients with FIA and 15,367 people with available serum vitamin D measurements. Age-adjusted FIA incidence was 2.2 per 100,000 person-years in region 1 and 1.8 per 100,000 person-years in region 2 (relative risk, 1.23: 95% confidence interval, 1.09-1.39). Age-adjusted serum vitamin D levels were 16.5 ng/mL in region 1 and 17.8 ng/mL in region 2 (mean difference, 1.3 ng/mL: 95% confidence interval, 0.9-1.9). After stratification by age, sex, and area of residence, region 1 still had higher FIA incidence and lower vitamin D levels than region 2. CONCLUSION: The present study found a higher incidence of FIA in regions with lower vitamin D levels in the population. Further investigation is necessary to identify any direct associations between vitamin D and food allergy/anaphylaxis.
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