New study reverses previous recommendations to delay introduction of peanuts for high risk allergy kids
Peanut allergy is an increasingly troubling global health problem, which affects between 1-3% of children in many westernized countries.
The World Allergy Organisation has released its Consensus Communication on Early Peanut Introduction and the Prevention of Peanut Allergy in High-Risk Infants based on the new LEAP study results which states that there is now emerging evidence that there is now potential benefits of supporting early, rather than delayed, peanut introduction during the period of complementary food introduction in infants.
The LEAP trial demonstrated a successful 11% – 25% absolute reduction in the risk of developing peanut allergy in high-risk infants (and a relative risk reduction of up to 80%) if peanut was introduced between 4 and 11 months of age.
The Australian Allergy Centre has instituted the current interim guidelines released by WAO which says
There is now scientific evidence (Level 1 evidence from a randomized controlled trial) that healthcare providers should recommend introducing peanut-containing products into the diet of “high-risk” infants early on in life (between 4 – 11 months of age) in countries where peanut allergy is prevalent, since delaying the introduction of peanut may be associated with an increased risk of developing peanut allergy.
Early feeding culture may be about to change – the forthcoming NIAID Working Group’s and EAACI Guidelines Group’s documents will better clarify a best-practices approach for all children and determine if there is sufficient evidence to apply this prevention strategies to the general population.
If this guidelines extrapolate this data to low risk as well as high risk individuals, it might not be long before smooth peanut butter is back on the diet for Australian infants, rather than feared.
Dr Suzan Bekir is Clinical Director of the Australian Allergy Centre.
The Australian Allergy Centre is Australia’s first bulk billing allergy centre, enabling Australians to have increasing access to allergy diagnostic services. The Australian allergy centre is located in Bella Vista, Double Bay, and Wollongong.
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