Black/African American and Hispanic individuals compared with White individuals were found to be highly underrepresented in food allergy immunotherapy trials, according to a literature review presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Virtual Annual Meeting, held from February 26 to March 1, 2021.

Previous research has indicated the efficacy of food allergen immunotherapy; however, Black/African American populations are typically underrepresented in these clinical trials. Therefore, the study authors aimed to determine the racial and ethnic distribution of study participants enrolled food allergy immunotherapy trials.

In the current analysis, the study authors conducted a literature review using PubMed,, and other resources. A total of 191 articles, of which 135 were human clinical trials, met the study criteria. They collected data on the number of trials reporting on race and ethnicity and the distribution of these study groups.

Study results indicated that 12% (16 articles) of trials — 81.25% of which were conducted in the United States — reported on racial demographics. The authors noted that 81.70% (n=1366) of trials reporting on race and ethnicity included White individuals; 7.66% (n=128) included Asian individuals; 6.46% (n=108) included individuals of multiple/other races; 2.81% (n=47) included Black/African Americans individuals; 1.26% (n=21) included Latino/Hispanic individuals; and 0.12% (n=2) included Native American or Pacific Islander individuals.

Although racial and ethnic demographics were not reported in most trials, White study participants were overrepresented compared with Black/African American and Latino/Hispanic participants who were underrepresented in these pivotal trials.

“Food allergen immunotherapy trials do not represent the general population or food allergy population. Efforts are needed to make sure trials are inclusive and representative,” the study authors concluded.


Davidson L and Jones B. The racial and ethnic makeup of food allergy immunotherapy trials. Presented at: the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Virtual Annual Meeting; February 26-March 1, 2021. Abstract 297. 

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor