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J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019 Feb;7(2):509-515. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2018.11.038. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

Reduced Final Height and Inadequate Nutritional Intake in Cow's Milk-Allergic Young Adults.

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The School of Nutritional Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.
Institute of Allergy, Immunology, and Pediatric Pulmonology, Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel.
Institute of Allergy, Immunology, and Pediatric Pulmonology, Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel; Department of Pediatrics, Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel. Electronic address:



Growth impairment was previously described in milk-allergic children but was not examined in adults on reaching final height.


To investigate the dietary intake and final stature of young adults with IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy (IgE-CMA) as compared with nonallergic controls.


Eighty-seven patients with IgE-CMA, median age 19.5 years (interquartile range [IQR], 17.3-22.7), and 36 control participants without food allergies, median age 22.7 years (IQR, 18.9-26.1), were studied. Anthropometric and nutritional data were collected. Age and gender z-scores were determined according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts. Nutrient intake assessment was based on dietary records. Individuals with conditions or treatments affecting bone metabolism or growth, other than asthma, were excluded.


Mean values of height z-scores were significantly reduced in CMA subjects compared with controls (-0.64 ± 0.9 vs -0.04 ± 0.7, P = .001). In contrast, no differences were found between the 2 groups in weight and body mass index z-scores. Patients with CMA had significantly lower intake of protein, and several essential vitamins (A, B12, and riboflavin) and minerals (calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc) compared with controls (P < .05), but the intakes of calories, carbohydrate, and fat were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Differences between actual and expected (based on midparental height) height z-scores were comparable in CMA subjects with or without asthma and between those with and without additional food allergies.


Young adults who have CMA from infancy are at risk of not reaching their growth potential. Growth and nutritional monitoring and appropriate dietary intervention are of particular importance in these at-risk individuals.


Adults; Diet; Height; Midparental height; Milk allergy; Nutrition; Stature; z-score


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