Food allergies are extremely common. They affect around 5% of adults and 8% of children. An egg allergy is the second most common cause of food allergy in children—almost 68% of children are allergic to eggs.
Since 2017, Allergists and pediatricians have recommended that parents start introducing peanut products when their child begins solid foods to prevent peanut allergy. Now, a new study reveals the same for egg allergies. It suggests that early egg introduction is associated with decreased egg allergy.
Allergy and Immunology Fellow Giulia Martone, MD, ACAAI member and lead author of the study, said, “We examined infant feeding and food allergy data from birth to 6 years, collected by 2237 parent surveys in the Infant Feeding Practices Study II conducted by the CDC and US-FDA.”
“1379 participants had complete food allergy data to 6 years. We found that children who hadn’t had egg introduced by 12 months were more likely to have egg allergy at six years.”
14 of 2237 surveys (0.6%) reported egg allergy at one year, and 11 of 1379 surveys (0.8%) reported egg allergy at six years. Children with an egg allergy at one-year-old and six-year-old had less frequent egg consumption at 5, 6, 7, and 10 months of age.
Xiaozhong Wen, MD, Ph.D., senior author and principal investigator of the study, said, “Egg allergy is the second most common food allergy throughout the world. Current evidence suggests that early introduction of eggs during infancy, followed by consistent and frequent feedings, seems protective against the development of egg allergy. We are still investigating optimal timing of infant egg introduction and frequency of feeding.”
The study is presented at this year’s American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting.