Autumn-born children more susceptible to food allergies

A study including over 7,000 children has concluded that being born in autumn increases the potential possibility for developing food allergy. Presence of food allergy in the group was defined as reporting an acute reaction to a food, or milk, egg or peanut allergy. The researchers from Johns Hopkins University school of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA compared the seasons of birth of the subjects, taking into account ethnicity, age, income and gender, as well as eczema.

Children born in the autumn have an increased risk of food allergy, with Caucasians and those with eczema having a significantly increased risk. There was no significant association between season of birth and food allergy in non-Caucasian children. Lighter-skinned populations have a more seasonal variation in vitamin D than darker-skinned populations, suggesting that vitamin D is a mediator in food allergy. However there may be other explanations such as genetic susceptibility. 

Source: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

June 2012


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