The natural history of peanut and egg allergy in children up to age 6 years in the HealthNuts population-based longitudinal study
Peters R L ,Guarnieri I ,Tang M L et al ,18 May 2022 ,The natural history of peanut and egg allergy in children up to age 6 years in the HealthNuts population-based longitudinal study ,The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology ,doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2022.04.008
Prospectively collected data on the natural history of food allergy are lacking.
We examined the natural history of egg and peanut allergy in children from age 1 to 6 years and assessed whether a skin prick test (SPT) result or other clinical factors at diagnosis are associated with the persistence or resolution of food allergy in early childhood.
The HealthNuts cohort consists of 5276 children who were recruited at age 1 year and have been followed prospectively. Children with food allergy at age 1 year (peanut [n = 156] or raw egg [n = 471] allergy ) and children who developed new sensitizations or food reactions after age 1 year were assessed for food sensitization and allergy (confirmed by oral food challenge when indicated) at the 6-year follow-up.
New-onset food allergy developed by age 6 years was more common for peanut (0.7% [95% CI = 0.5%-1.1%]) than egg (0.09% [95% CI = 0.03%-0.3%]). Egg allergy resolved more commonly (89% [95% CI = 85%-92%]) than peanut allergy (29% [95% CI = 22%-38%]) by age 6 years. The overall weighted prevalence of peanut allergy at age 6 years was 3.1% (95% CI = 2.6-3.7%) and that of egg allergy was 1.2% (95% = CI 0.9%-1.6%). The factors at age 1 year associated with persistence of peanut allergy were peanut SPT result of 8 mm or larger (odds ratio [OR] = 2.35 [95% CI 1.08-5.12]), sensitization to tree nuts (adjusted OR [aOR] = 2.51 [95% CI = 1.00-6.35]), and early-onset severe eczema (aOR = 3.23, [95% CI 1.17-8.88]). Factors at age 1 associated with persistence of egg allergy at age 6 were egg SPT result of 4 mm or larger (OR = 2.98 [95% CI 1.35-6.36]), other (peanut and/or sesame) food sensitizations (aOR = 2.80 [95% CI = 1.11-7.03]), baked egg allergy (aOR = 7.41 [95% CI = 2.16-25.3]), and early-onset severe eczema (aOR = 3.77 [95% CI = 1.35-10.52]).
Most egg allergy and nearly one-third of peanut allergy resolves naturally by age 6 years. The prevalence of peanut allergy at age 6 years was similar to that observed at age 1 year, largely owing to new-onset food peanut allergy after age 1 year. Infants with early-onset eczema, larger SPT wheals, or multiple food sensitizations and/or allergies were less likely to acquire tolerance to either peanut or egg.