Kids Who Tolerate Baked Egg Foods More Likely to Outgrow Egg Allergies

January 03, 2014

By Rob Goodier

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jan 03 - Toddlers who are allergic to raw egg but can safely eat foods containing baked egg seem more likely to outgrow their egg intolerance by age 2, a new study has found.

"The findings show us that there are in general two types (of) patients with egg allergy, those who will outgrow the allergy in a few years and those who it will take longer to outgrow it," said Dr. Wesley Burks, who chairs the department of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and was not involved in the study.

"The first group can be identified with the ability to consume baked-egg products and if they put these products in their diet they may outgrow the egg allergy sooner," he told Reuters Health by email.

The new work, led by Dr. Katrina Allen from the Royal Children's Hospital in Parkville, Victoria, Australia, was published online December 27 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

To test for allergic reactions, Dr. Allen and her team administered pin prick tests to more than 5,100 one-year-olds. They then ran oral food tests on those who responded, including raw eggs and a muffin containing baked egg, and followed up with baked-egg tests again when the children were two years old. They reported results for 140 children who completed follow-up.

Nearly half the children (47%) outgrew their egg allergy by age 2. Multivariate analysis revealed two statistically significant predictors of persistent egg allergy: the baseline skin-prick test (adjusted odds ratio, 3.34) and serum IgE of 95% or greater positive predictive value (aOR, 29.46).

Another predictor was tolerance to baked egg. At baseline, 20% of the infants who reacted to raw egg also reacted to baked egg, and after adjustment for confounders these children were five times as likely to remain allergic through age 2 as were those who tolerated baked eggs (aOR, 5.27).

"We believe our results will help decide which children should be entered into studies of oral immunotherapy for egg allergy," Dr. Allen told Reuters Health by email.

It's possible that eating baked eggs may improve tolerance. When infants who could eat baked egg at age 1 ate foods containing baked eggs five or more times per month they were three times more likely to tolerate raw egg at age 2 (OR, 3.51).

"For families with children with egg allergy, this is a well done study to help them know that for many children with egg allergy, this allergy will be outgrown early in life. It also shows us that if a child can tolerate baked egg, then it is probably good for them to incorporate this into their diet," Dr. Burks says.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/19EVBdX

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013.

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