Defining the window of opportunity and target populations to prevent peanut allergy

Roberts G et al, 12 December 2022, Defining the Window of Opportunity and Target Populations to Prevent Peanut Allergy, The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, doi: :

Peanut allergy affects 1% to 2% of European children. Early introduction of peanut into the diet reduces allergy in high-risk infants.

We aimed to determine the optimal target populations and timing of introduction of peanut products to prevent peanut allergy in the general population.

Data from the Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT; n = 1303; normal risk; 3-year follow-up; ISRCTN14254740) and Learning Early About Peanut Allergy study (LEAP; n = 640; high risk; 5-year follow-up; NCT00329784) randomized controlled trials plus the Peanut Allergy Sensitization (PAS; n = 194; low and very high risk; 5-year follow-up) observational study were used to model the intervention in a general population. Peanut allergy was defined by blinded peanut challenge or diagnostic skin prick test result.

Targeting only the highest-risk infants with severe eczema reduced the population disease burden by only 4.6%. Greatest reductions in peanut allergy were seen when the intervention was targeted only to the larger but lower-risk groups. A 77% reduction in peanut allergy was estimated when peanut was introduced to the diet of all infants, at 4 months with eczema, and at 6 months without eczema. The estimated reduction in peanut allergy diminished with every month of delayed introduction. If introduction was delayed to 12 months, peanut allergy was only reduced by 33%.

The preventive benefit of early introduction of peanut products into the diet decreases as age at introduction increases. In countries where peanut allergy is a public health concern, health care professionals should help parents introduce peanut products into their infants’ diet at 4 to 6 months of life.

Full research paper can be viewed here

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