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Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Mar;40(3):450-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2009.03400.x. Epub 2009 Dec 2.

Prospective association between food sensitization and food allergy: results of the LISA birth cohort study.

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  • 1Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Epidemiology, Neuherberg, Germany.



Food allergy is common, especially in childhood, where 6-8% of children are affected. Identification of early and efficient markers for later development of food allergy is very important.


We examined the ability of repeated measurements of food sensitization in early childhood to predict doctor-diagnosed food allergy (DDFA) at the age of 6 years.


The analysis was based on data from a prospective birth cohort study. Information was collected by parental questionnaires, and blood samples were obtained at 2 and 6 years of age. Children with repeated determination of sensitization to food allergens at 2 and 6 years of age were categorized into the sensitization phenotypes: no, early onset, late onset and persistent sensitization. The association between sensitization phenotypes and DDFA was prospectively investigated using multiple logistic regression analyses.


Of 3097 children recruited at birth, a complete follow-up of IgE measurements and questionnaires at 1.5, 2 and 6 years were available for 1082 children. Early food allergen sensitization (fx5) was a strong risk for DDFA at 6 years [odds ratio (OR)=4.7; 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) 2.0-11.2] and for a new onset of DDFA at 6 years (OR=4.1; 95% CI 1.5-11.3). Additionally, persistent food allergen sensitization increased the risk of DDFA at 6 years (OR=6.1; 95% CI 2.7-13.7). Early sensitized children with a history of parental atopy showed the highest risk for DDFA at 6 years.


Food-sensitized children during the first 2 years of life, especially with a family history of atopy, might be considered as a susceptible subgroup that requires specific attention concerning the development of food allergy-related symptoms.

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