New Paper about Childhood Peanut Allergy

Although peanut allergy is among the most common food allergies, no study has comprehensively described the distribution and predictors of childhood peanut allergy in the United States. The goal of this study, which was just published in the journal Asthma and Allergy Proceedings, was to better characterize peanut allergy prevalence, how it is being diagnosed, and the type of allergic reactions that children with peanut allergy tend to have. To accomplish this we surveyed nearly 40,000 parents from all over the US. Of the 3218 children identified with food allergy, 754 (24.8%) were reported to have a peanut allergy. 

In our study, we found that peanut allergy was reported most often among 6- to 10-year-old children (25.5%), white children (47.7%), and children from households with an annual income of $50,000-$99,999 (41.7%). Although peanut allergy was diagnosed by a physician in roughly 75% of cases, the reactions tended to be more severe than for other foods (53.7% versus 41.0%).  Furthermore, parents were significantly less likely to report tolerance to peanut as compared with the odds of tolerance reported for other foods. Therefore, overall, childhood peanut allergy, which represents nearly a quarter of all food allergy, presents more severe reactions and is less likely to be outgrown than other food allergies. Although it is diagnosed by a physician in nearly three-fourths of all cases, socioeconomic disparities remain regarding how it is diagnosed.  To learn more about our study, click here.