Clinical characteristics of peanut-allergic children: recent changes.

Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 3705 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 4.47). 01/2008; 120(6):1304-10. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2007-0350
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The goal was to determine whether patients seen in a referral clinic are experiencing initial allergic reactions to peanuts earlier, compared with a similar population profiled at a different medical center 10 years ago, and to investigate other changes in clinical characteristics of the patients between the 2 groups.
We reviewed the medical charts of peanut-allergic patients seen in the Duke University pediatric allergy and immunology clinic between July 2000 and April 2006.
The median ages of first peanut exposure and reaction were 14 and 18 months, respectively; the respective ages in a similar population profiled between 1995 and 1997 were 22 and 24 months. Within our patient group, those born before 2000 were first exposed to peanuts at a median age of 19 months and reacted at a median age of 21 months, compared with first exposure at 12 months and first reaction at 14 months for those born in or after 2000. Most patients (68%) demonstrated sensitization or clinical allergy to other foods (53% to eggs, 26% to cow's milk, 20% to tree nuts, 11% to fish, 9% to shellfish, 7% to soy, 6% to wheat, and 6% to sesame seeds).
In the past decade, the ages of first peanut exposure and reaction have declined among peanut-allergic children seen in a referral clinic. Egg allergy is very common in peanut-allergic patients, and sesame seeds should perhaps be considered one of the major food allergens. The decline in the age of first peanut reaction seems to be attributable to earlier exposure.

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