Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Peanut Allergies Overstated, Study Finds

Date:
May 16, 2007
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
Despite hundreds of families being told their children have peanut allergies every year, many of the children may be able to eat peanuts safely, a study by researchers at the University of New South Wales and Sydney Children's Hospital has found.

Despite hundreds of families being told their children have peanut allergies every year, many of the children may be able to eat peanuts safely, a study by researchers at UNSW and the Sydney Children’s Hospital has found.
Credit: Photo by Jack Dykinga; courtesy of USDA/Agricultural Research Service

Despite hundreds of families being told their children have peanut allergies every year, many of the children may be able to eat peanuts safely, a study by researchers at UNSW and the Sydney Children’s Hospital has found.

Related Articles


Peanut allergies occur in one in 200 infants, according to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.

“This is a really important finding,” said Dr Brynn Wainstein, a Sydney Children’s Hospital immunologist and MD candidate at UNSW.

“Because peanut allergies are potentially serious, requiring all sorts of restrictions, families can become very anxious when in fact, some of these families may be worrying unnecessarily,” Dr Wainstein said.

The study, published in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, involved 84 children with a positive result to a peanut skin-prick-test.

If a child is potentially allergic to peanut, he or she will get a hive as a result of the peanut skin-prick-test. Allergists measure the size of the hive in millimetres.

In this study, a third of the children with a hive of eight millimetres - which has been found elsewhere to be predictive of having peanut allergy - were found not to be allergic to peanuts when they took a peanut challenge. A challenge involves eating peanuts in a hospital environment.

“Diagnostic tests for peanut allergy have poor sensitivity and specificity,” the paper concludes. “Previously described diagnostic cut-off levels do not have general applicability.”

Reasons for this may include variables such as the equipment used and the pressure administered by the practitioner during a skin prick test.

“There is a population of children who have never eaten peanuts – or worse, those that eat them everyday, then have a positive peanut skin test and are told not to eat them,” said Dr Wainstein.

Dr Wainstein said many children who have never eaten peanuts and are found to have a positive peanut skin test are probably NOT allergic to peanut and will need a peanut challenge to determine if they are allergic.

“If the child is able to tolerate normal amounts of peanut every day then the result of any peanut allergy test is irrelevant,” he said.

Allergy practitioners may need to interpret results of allergy tests in the context of their own practices, the researchers found.

“If there is a positive result, people need to ask whether it might be worth a peanut challenge in a hospital environment, especially if their child has never had an allergic reaction to peanut before,” Dr Wainstein said.

The co-authors of the report are Dr Anthony Yee, Donna Jelley and Mary Ziegler, all from the Sydney Children’s Hospital and Associate Professor John Ziegler, a UNSW conjoint academic in the School of Women’s and Children’s Health, at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Peanut Allergies Overstated, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070516091853.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2007, May 16). Peanut Allergies Overstated, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070516091853.htm
University of New South Wales. "Peanut Allergies Overstated, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070516091853.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins