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Clin Exp Allergy. 2016 Apr;46(4):602-9. doi: 10.1111/cea.12699.

Nut allergy prevalence and differences between Asian-born children and Australian-born children of Asian descent: a state-wide survey of children at primary school entry in Victoria, Australia.

Author information

1
The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
2
The Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
3
The Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
4
Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
5
The Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
6
La Trobe University, Bundoora, Vic., Australia.
7
The Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic., Australia.
8
George Institute for Global Health, United Kingdom School of Psychology and Public Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
9
Institute of Inflammation and Repair, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Asian infants born in Australia are three times more likely to develop nut allergy than non-Asian infants, and rates of challenge-proven food allergy in infants have been found to be unexpectedly high in metropolitan Melbourne. To further investigate the risk factors for nut allergy, we assessed the whole-of-state prevalence distribution of parent-reported nut allergy in 5-year-old children entering school.

METHODS:

Using the 2010 School Entrant Health Questionnaire administered to all 5-year-old children in Victoria, Australia, we assessed the prevalence of parent-reported nut allergy (tree nut and peanut) and whether this was altered by region of residence, socio-economic status, country of birth or history of migration. Prevalence was calculated as observed proportion with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Risk factors were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression and adjusted for appropriate confounders.

RESULTS:

Parent-reported nut allergy prevalence was 3.1% (95% CI 2.9-3.2) amongst a cohort of nearly 60 000 children. It was more common amongst children of mothers with higher education and socio-economic index and less prevalent amongst children in regional Victoria than in Melbourne. While children born in Australia to Asian-born mothers (aOR 2.67, 95% CI 2.28-3.27) were more likely to have nut allergy than non-Asian children, children born in Asia who subsequently migrated to Australia were at decreased risk of nut allergy (aOR 0.1, 95% CI 0.03-0.31).

CONCLUSION:

Migration from Asia after the early infant period appears protective for the development of nut allergy. Additionally, rural regions have lower rates of nut allergy than urban areas.

KEYWORDS:

food allergy; migration; nut allergy; peanut allergy; prevalence; tree nut allergy

PMID:
26728850
DOI:
10.1111/cea.12699
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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