From the Journals

Peanut exposure in at-risk infants does not reduce eczema, other allergic diseases



Early consumption of peanuts in infants at high risk of peanut allergy, shown to reduce the risk of peanut allergy, does not prevent the development of other allergic disease and does not hasten the resolution of eczema, according to George du Toit, MB, and his associates.

In a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, they reported on the results of a 12-month extension of the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, which found that early introduction of peanuts into the diets of infants at high risk of peanut allergy markedly reduced their risk of developing peanut allergy at age 5, compared with those who did not consume peanuts. As infants, the majority had severe eczema, which, with egg allergy, was used to identify those at high risk.

In the extension study, the rates of eczema decreased across study time points to 72 months of age in both groups, to 39% in the peanut avoidance group and 37% in the peanut consumption group. Eczema severity decreased across study time points, and there were no significant differences in severity between the two groups at any time point.

There were also no differences between the two groups in the rates of asthma, seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis, and perennial rhinoconjunctivitis at 30, 60, and 72 months of age.

“The underlying immune mechanisms associated with tolerance to peanut do not alter the natural history of allergic disease,” the researchers concluded. “Different prevention strategies or strategies that include multiple dietary interventions need to be tested to assess whether the reduction in peanut allergy observed in the LEAP consumption group can be extended to other common food allergens and allergic diseases.”

SOURCE: Du Toit G et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018 Apr;141[4]1343-53.

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