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Food allergies more widespread among inner-city children
Date:8/14/2014

ecific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to milk, eggs and peanuts. IgE antibodies to food proteins are immune chemicals released by the body that herald a food allergy. Based on blood test results, other clinical findings and symptoms, the investigators classified a child as allergic, possibly allergic, sensitive to a particular substance or not sensitive. Sensitization to a substance, signaled by the presence of IgE antibodies in the blood, renders a person more likely to develop allergic symptoms, but it is not sufficient to diagnose a true food allergy, which is always marked by clinical symptoms. In this study, the investigative team deemed allergic only those children who had both clinical symptoms and elevated IgE antibodies. This stringent criterion likely underestimates the true number of kids with food allergies, Wood adds.

Overall, more than half (55 percent) of children in the study were classified as sensitive to milk, eggs or peanuts. Nearly 10 percent of them met criteria for a full-blown food allergy. The most common allergy was to peanuts (6 percent), followed by eggs (4.3 percent) and milk (2.7 percent). An additional 17 percent were classified as "possibly allergic," a subgroup that had elevated IgE antibodies but no clear history of allergic reactions to peanuts, eggs or milk. Twenty-nine percent were classified as "sensitive but tolerant," a group that included those with elevated IgE antibodies and a known history of consuming allergenic foods but who were able to tolerate the foods in question without allergic symptoms.

Breastfed children appeared to have a higher risk for developing food allergies. Children living in houses with higher levels of endotoxin, a molecule released by certain types of bacteria, were less likely to have a food allergy. This latter finding, the investigators say, is consistent with the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that early-life exposure to certain microbes can play a protective ro
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Contact: Ekaterina Pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-502-9433
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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