Background: The effects of ethnicity on beta lactam allergy have not been reported. The Negev Desert in Southern Israel is inhabited by two ethnically distinct populations: Jews and Bedouin Muslims. Approximately 60% of the pediatric population of the area is Jewish. Whereas most Jews live in Westernized urban centers, Bedouins are in the process of transition from semi-nomadic conditions to a sedentary lifestyle and the majority of them now live in towns and villages. We sought to determine the rate and characteristics of physician-reported beta lactam allergy in Jewish and Bedouin children. Methods: The medical records of all children registered in five primary community clinics were reviewed and screened for allergy to beta lactam antibiotics. Results: A total of 26 655 medical records were reviewed: of 11 069 Jewish children and 15 586 Bedouin children. Beta lactam allergy was registered in 344 records (1.3%), and was more frequent in Jewish (n = 226, 2.1%) than in Bedouin children (n = 118, 0.8%, P < 0.0001). Beta lactam allergy was more common in boys in both populations (P < 0.01). The clinical features of the reaction that led to the diagnosis of beta lactam allergy were not significantly different between the two ethnic populations, although the specific antibiotics prescribed and the diagnoses for which they were prescribed were different in the two ethnic populations. Conclusions: We concluded in this study that pediatric beta lactam allergy was registered more frequently in Jewish than in Bedouin children, and in boys more than in girls.
- Beta lactam
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health