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J Pediatr. 1998 Jun;132(6):1004-9.

Elimination diet in cow's milk allergy: risk for impaired growth in young children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Turku and Medical School, University of Tampere, Finland.



The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritional impact of therapeutic elimination diets and to identify risk factors predisposing infants with food allergy to poor growth.


We studied 100 children (mean age 7 months) with atopic dermatitis and challenge-proven cow's milk allergy and evaluated their growth during the symptomatic period before diagnosis and during the therapeutic elimination diet.


Clinical control of symptoms was achieved in all patients. The mean length SD score and weight-for-length index of patients decreased compared with those in healthy age-matched children, p < 0.0001 and p = 0.03, respectively. Low serum albumin was present in 6% of the patients, 24% had an abnormal urea concentration, and 8% had a low serum phospholipid docosahexaenoic acid. The delay in growth was more pronounced in a subgroup of patients with early onset than in those with later of symptoms (F = 6.665, p < 0.0001). The duration of breast-feeding correlated positively with the sum of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (r = 0.39, p = 0.001) and with the relative amount of docosahexaenoic acid (r = 0.36, p = 0.002).


A delicate balance exists between the benefits and the risks of elimination diets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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