Household Exposure to Peanut During Infancy Increases Risk of Peanut
to peanut during infancy promotes sensitization, but low levels may
protect atopic children, according to a new study presented this month
at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma
and Immunology (AAAAI) in Miami Beach.
T. Fox, MD, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom, and colleagues
hypothesized that peanut sensitization occurs as a result of exposure.
To test this theory, their study was a survey of children with suspected
peanut allergy and the researchers also looked to see what affect
early exposure to peanuts had on the children for later allergy.
Questions on the survey ranged from how much peanut the mother ate
during pregnancy to how much peanut was eaten by other family members
during the child's first year of life. Exposure was compared in
three different groups of children of the same age: Children with
peanut allergy, children with egg allergy but not peanut allergy
and non-allergic children. The average weekly peanut consumption
for the allergic children was 77.2g, while the totally non-allergic
children averaged 29.1g.
The study concluded
that exposure to peanuts during infancy promotes sensitization,
and that low levels may protect atopic children. In addition, researchers
didn't see any signs that mothers who ate peanuts during pregnancy
or breast feeding contributed to their children developing the allergy.
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