Peanut anaphylaxis declining in children, overall food-related anaphylaxis still a concern: C-CARE

Peanut anaphylaxis declining in children, overall food-related anaphylaxis still a concern: C-CARE

Anaphylaxis to peanut has significantly decreased in children over the past six years, according to a new Canadian study that measured anaphylaxis rates for the nine most common food allergens.

“Our study showed a significant decline in the number of children coming to the hospital with anaphylaxis to peanut,” says lead researcher Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at McGill University.

“We found that the rate of reactions in children with a known peanut allergy did not significantly change; however, there was a significant decline in reactions among children with no known history of peanut allergy. Therefore, we believe it is possible that the current guidelines recommending early introduction of peanut are responsible for this decrease.”

The researchers collected data from 1,405 food-induced anaphylaxis cases seen at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) between 2011 and 2017, as part of the nationwide Cross-Canada Anaphylaxis REgistry (C-CARE) – a project of the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network (AllerGen).

The research, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, also found that anaphylactic reactions to tree nut significantly increased, and that there were no significant changes in rates of anaphylaxis for other food allergens assessed (milk, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, sesame, and wheat).

“It’s possible that the increase in tree nut-induced reactions is related to increased consumption of tree nuts in plant-based diets,” said study first-author Bruce Thomas Miles, an Engineering student at McGill University, “or it may be due to cross-contamination, which is still common within this food group.”

“From 2011 to 2015, there were no significant increases in all food-induced reactions among Emergency Department visits at the MCH,” commented Dr. Ben-Shoshan. “However, between 2015 and 2017 there was a significant increase of 6.32%.”

“This is concerning and indicates that ongoing education and vigilance is required.”

Press release