New research has revealed that 1.4 per cent of 12-month-olds in Australia have a cashew allergy and 1.3 per cent have a cow’s milk allergy. This is the first time the rate of these allergies in Australia has been determined using gold standard oral food challenges.
The research, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, also found that eczema and peanut allergy were linked to having a cashew allergy. Infants who have eczema, a family history of food allergy and parents born in East Asia were more likely to develop cow’s milk allergy.
The findings also revealed that only 25 per cent of infants had been introduced to cashews by 12 months, which was less than the number of infants introduced to other common allergens, such as peanut and milk by the same age. More than 80 per cent of infants had been introduced to milk products before seven months and almost all infants had tried milk products by 12 months. No association was found between the timing of cashew introduction and cashew allergy.
The researchers say that these findings help to build the understanding about allergic disease and can be used to help parents and healthcare professionals make informed decisions about how to prevent food allergies.
- Soriano et al. 2023. Prevalence and risk factors of cow’s milk sensitization and allergy in southeast Australia. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. (In Press) DOI: 10.1016/j.jaip.2023.07.003.
- Brettig et al. 2023. Cashew Allergy Prevalence and Sensitization in 1-Year-Old Infants. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. (In Press) DOI: 10.1016/j.jaip.2023.07.019