Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Food allergies more widespread among inner-city children

15.08.2014

One in 10 allergic to milk, eggs or peanuts

Already known for their higher-than-usual risk of asthma and environmental allergies, young inner-city children appear to suffer disproportionately from food allergies as well, according to results of a study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The federally funded multi-center study, described online Aug. 13 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that at least one in 10 children from four large U.S. cities has a food allergy. However, the true number may be even higher, the investigators say, because the study used highly stringent criteria and counted only the three most common food allergies.

"Our findings are a wake-up call, signaling an urgent need to unravel the causes, contributors and mechanisms that drive the high prevalence of food allergies among an already vulnerable group known for its high risk of asthma and environmental allergies," says senior investigator Robert Wood, M.D., director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins.

Nearly 3 percent of adults and 6 percent of young children in the United States have one or more food allergies, according to the latest estimates from the National Institutes of Health. Moreover, Wood notes, food allergies among children have been on a steady rise over the last 20 years, and experts have long suspected that children in urban areas are no exception. The new study largely affirms that trend but also points to a subgroup of children who may have higher-than-average allergy risk.

For the study, the investigative team followed 516 inner-city children from birth through age 5, living in Baltimore, Boston, New York City and St. Louis. Each year of the study, the investigators measured each child's exposure to household allergens, conducted physical exams, tracked the children's diets and reviewed their health histories.

The team also analyzed blood samples at 1, 2, 3 and 5 years to measure the presence of food-specific 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 role against asthma and allergies.

Children with food allergies were also more likely to suffer from environmental allergies, wheezing and eczema, an allergic skin condition.

###

Other institutions involved in the research included Boston University School of Medicine, the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

The study was funded by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, under grant numbers NO1-AI-25496, NO1-AI-25482, HHSN272200900052C and HHSN272201000052I. Additional support was provided by the National Center for Research Resources under grants, RR00052, M01RR00533, 1UL1RR025771, M01RR00071, 1UL1RR024156, and 5UL1RR024992-02.

Ekaterina Pesheva, epeshev1@jhmi.edu (410) 502-9433

Helen Jones, hjones49@jhmi.edu (410) 502-9422

Related on the Web:

Newborns Exposed to Dirt, Dander and Germs May Have Lower Allergy and Asthma Risk

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Newborns-Exposed-to-Dirt-Dander-and-Germs-May-Have-Lower-Allergy-and-Asthma-Risk/

First Long-Term Study of Food Allergy Treatment: 'Proceed with Caution'

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/first-long-term-study-of-food-allergy-treatment.aspx

Egg Therapy Benefits Children Allergic to Eggs

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Egg-Therapy-Benefits-Children-Allergic-to-Eggs.aspx

Drinking Milk to Ease Milk Allergy?

http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/drinking-milk-to-ease-milk-allergy.aspx

Ekaterina Pesheva | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Allergy Children Hopkins Medicine allergies eggs investigators milk sensitive symptoms

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>