New allergy prevention study
A new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI)* shows that food allergy prevention measures may be working. The study looks at hospital admissions in Australia for severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), and reports that the rate of increase in anaphylaxis to food among children has flattened, with the changing of advice to feed babies the common allergy causing foods by 12 months of age.
*JACI is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology worldwide.
The main aim of the study was to see if changes to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Guidelines for infant feeding and allergy prevention had any impact on hospital admission rates for childhood food allergy. ASCIA guidelines have changed in response to published studies over the last 15 years, from a recommendation to ‘delay’ allergenic foods (1999 to 2007) to ‘not delay’ (2008) and then later to ‘introduce early and often’ (since 2016).
This study provides the first real-world evidence showing that food allergy prevention measures (as outlined in ASCIA Guidelines for Infant feeding and Allergy Prevention), are having a measurable impact on the population prevalence of food-related anaphylaxis presentations to hospital.
ASCIA Guidelines for infant feeding and allergy prevention and ASCIA How to Introduce Solid Foods for Allergy Prevention FAQ are amongst the most popular webpages on the ASCIA website since the Guidelines were updated in 2016.
Through the National Allergy Strategy, a partnership between ASCIA and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), online resources are available on the Nip Allergies in the Bub website www.preventallergies.org (which are based on ASCIA Guidelines), that provide simple and practical information to help parents introduce the common allergy causing foods to their babies. A new series of short videos to help parents feed their babies the common allergy causing foods are now available. To read more go to www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/info-updates/new-nip-allergies-in-the-bub-infant-feeding-videos
Allergy prevention study media release: www.mcri.edu.au/news/serious-allergic-reactions-food-among-children-stabilise-guideline-changes
This news item was issued on 24 February 2022 and updated on 1 March 2022 by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), the peak professional body for clinical immunology and allergy in Australia and New Zealand.