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Resolution of peanut allergy

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 07 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1317

Patients have not been proved to grow out of peanut allergy

  1. Tim David, Professor of child health
  1. Booth Hall Children's Hospital, Manchester M9 7AA
  2. Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH
  3. South Manchester University Hospitals, Withington Hospital, Manchester M20 2LR
  4. University of Southampton, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD

    EDITOR—Histories of allergy are known to be unreliable, and this is particularly the case for parents' reports of a child's reactions to foods. When double blind food challenges were used, parents' reports could be confirmed in only 37 (28%) of 133 children with reported food intolerance; in another study only 27 (33%) of 81 reports of food intolerance in children could be confirmed. 1 2

    Hourihane et al performed an open food challenge in children with a history of possible peanut allergy.3 Serious doubt that some of these children had genuine peanut allergy arose either because the result of a skin test was negative (this is rare in subjects who have allergic reactions to peanut) or because the child was reported to have eaten peanut without problems (which suggested that peanut allergy was not present). When challenged, some patients had …

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