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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2010 Aug;21(5):889-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2009.00969.x.

Adherence to recommendations for primary prevention of atopic disease in neonatology clinical practice.

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Department of Evolutive Age Biomedicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


The prevalence and severity of atopic manifestations in children are increasing in western countries in the last decades. Specific nutritional intervention may prevent or delay the onset of atopic diseases in infants at high risk of developing allergy. These nutritional interventions should be applied early in the perinatal period to have a chance of success. Thus, we assessed adherence to the dietary management recommendations of the Committee on Nutrition and Section on Allergy and Immunology of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for the prevention of atopic diseases in neonatal age through an audit study. Questionnaire was administered to the chiefs of 30 maternity units (MU) with more than 1500 live births/yr to report the policy applied in their MU. Twenty-two MU returned the questionnaire. Identification of high-risk newborns was routinely performed only in 7/22 MU (31.8%). High-risk newborns were identified by the presence of at least two or one first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with documented allergic disease by 18.2% and 45.5% of MU, respectively. Specific maternal dietary restrictions during lactation were adopted in 7/22 MU (31.8%). Extensively or partially hydrolyzed formula was prescribed for bottle-fed high-risk infants in 22.7% of MU. Only 2/22 MU have a policy in complete agreement with the nutritional intervention proposed by the AAP. Our study suggest a poor adherence to dietary recommendations for primary prevention of atopic disease in neonatology clinical practice. Further efforts should be planned to improve the knowledge and the application of these preventive strategies.

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