According to a new study, children with a food allergy had a significantly higher prevalence of childhood anxiety. Food allergies were not associated with symptoms of childhood depression or with symptoms of anxiety or depression among their caregivers The team studied 80 pediatric patients aged 4 to12 years, eight years old on average, with and without food allergy and their caregivers from urban pediatric outpatient clinics in the Bronx, New York. They controlled for an asthma diagnosis in the children, as anxiety and mood disorders are more prevalent among youth with asthma and especially more common in low socioeconomic minority children. Among the children with a food allergy, 57 percent reported having symptoms of anxiety compared to 48 percent of children without a food allergy. Approximately 48 percent of the children had symptoms of depression with or without a food allergy. “Management of food allergy can be expensive both in terms of food shopping, meal preparation, and the cost of epinephrine auto-injectors, which expire annually. These demands could result in higher levels of anxiety for those with fewer financial resources and further heighten anxiety symptoms in children and their caregivers,” said Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health and lead author. The results suggest that food allergy is particularly linked to elevated social anxiety and fear of social rejection and humiliation.