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Egg or Milk Allergy Kids May Be At Higher Risk for Peanut Allergy


About 12 million people in the United States have food allergies, with one in 17 under the age of three. Early results from a study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have found that infants with egg or milk allergy may be at a greater risk for developing a peanut allergy later in life.

The Consortium of Food Allergy Research studied more than 500 infants between the ages of 3 and 15 months old with egg or milk allergies, confirmed with immunoglobulin E tests. None were known to also have a peanut allergy at the time of their enrollment in the study. As part of the initial investigation, CoFAR investigators also measured levels of IgE antibody to peanuts.

Two observations were made. First, more of the infants had elevated levels of IgE antibodies to peanuts than anticipated. Second, some of the infants had such high levels that they may already be allergic to peanuts without their parents being aware.

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Eggs, milk, and peanuts are the three most common allergenic foods for infants. The study researchers encourage families of children with an egg or milk allergy to talk with their doctor before incorporating peanuts or peanut products into their children’s diets.

The children in the study will be followed until 5 years of age to see if their allergy to milk or eggs continues or resolves and to see if they develop an additional allergy to peanuts.

CoFAR was established in 2005 by the NIAID to develop new approaches to treat and prevent food allergy. The consortium is composed of five clinical sites: Mount Sinai Medical Center (New York), Duke University (North Carolina), Johns Hopkins Children’s Center (Maryland), National Jewish Health (Colorado), and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Arkansas).

Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology