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Allergy. 2008 Apr;63(4):418-24. Epub 2007 Dec 19.

Patterns of quantitative food-specific IgE-antibodies and reported food hypersensitivity in 4-year-old children.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Sachs' Children's Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Diagnosis of food hypersensitivity (FHS) is difficult and interpretation of food allergy tests is complicated.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the probability of reported FHS in relation to levels of food-specific IgE-antibodies (AB) in a population-based setting of 4-year-old children (n = 2336).

METHODS:

Information on FHS was obtained from a questionnaire and specific IgE-AB to milk, egg, fish, peanut, soy and wheat were analysed.

RESULTS:

Thirty-one per cent of the children with reported FHS (n = 284) were sensitized (> or =0.35 kU(A)/l) to at least one of the tested foods compared with 11% of children without FHS (n = 2052). Furthermore, the probability of reported symptoms to milk, egg and fish increased with increasing levels of food-specific IgE-AB to the same food allergens. A similar trend was seen for peanut and wheat, but not for soy. Increasing levels of specific IgE-AB to milk or egg were also associated with an increasing risk of reported symptoms caused by other foods.

CONCLUSIONS:

Quantitative measurements of IgE-AB to milk, egg and fish are useful to evaluate IgE-associated FHS in preschool children also in a population based sample. Such measurements appear to be of limited value for soy bean and wheat, in particular as a screening method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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