Canadians with a diagnosed food allergy were surveyed about their medical needs surrounding those allergies. About half of those surveyed did not have a prescription for an epinephrine injector and most of those were in households with lower educational levels.
The randomized telephone survey was conducted in 2010-2011 to target low-income households, new Canadians and aboriginal people. A total of 5,734 households participated and 348 participants (of 15,022 total represented) reported a diagnosed food allergy (defined as diagnosed by a physician). About 44 percent of those were prescribed an auto-injector and 57 percent of those who had one always carried it.
Adults with higher education levels and children in households with an adult having a post-secondary degree were more likely to have an epinephrine injector than were households without these conditions.
The study is the first to analyze prescription availability to those with a food allergy in what are considered “vulnerable” populations in Canada.