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J Pediatr. 1992 Nov;121(5 Pt 2):S95-100.

Long-term prevention of allergic diseases by using protein hydrolysate formula in at-risk infants.

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Service de Gastroentérologie Pédiatrique, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire, Rouen, France.


This prospective, long-term study assessed the effects of a protein hydrolysate formula on allergy prevention in infants with a family history of allergy. Infants were randomly assigned to receive either the hydrolysate formula (n = 92) or an adapted cow milk formula (n = 85) alone or with breast-feeding for 4 months. The groups did not differ in family allergy history scores or cord blood IgE levels. After 4 months, total IgE levels and allergic reactions did not differ significantly between groups, although the hydrolysate group had a lower prevalence of eczema. At 12 months of age, neither IgE levels nor allergic reactions were significantly different. At 2 years of age, however, 18 allergic reactions had occurred in the hydrolysate group and 31 had occurred in the control group; the differences were significant for eczema (p < 0.001) but not for asthma. At 4 years of age, allergic signs were found in 11 children in the hydrolysate group and in 17 children in the control group; the difference was significant only for eczema (p < 0.01). These results suggest that early feeding of a protein hydrolysate formula to infants at risk for allergies had a long-term preventive effect on the prevalence of eczema but not of asthma.

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