Parental eczema increases the incidence of reactions to milk, but not to egg, peanut or hazelnut

Researchers from the University of Groningen, GRIAC Research Institute, Groningen, The Netherlands, carried out a study to determine whether parental atopy is a factor in whether children develop allergic reactivity to foods.

It is well known that genetic factors play a part in the development of sensitisation to foods, but whether they play a part in the development of clinical allergic reactivity is as yet unknown.

Parents of children with suspected food allergy were interviewed about their own and their child’s history of atopy, backed up by specific IgE and skin prick tests to food allergens. The tests were double-blind, placebo-controlled, and from 553 challenges performed, 396 children were analysed. The foods tested were egg, milk, hazelnut and peanut. Only parental eczema was found to be a factor associated positively with food allergy, and those children with a positive test to milk more frequently have parents with eczema.

Source: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology

December 2011

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