Assessing the relationship between maternal peanut consumption during pregnancy and the prevalence of peanut allergy in a birth cohort
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Allergy is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood and often presents early in life. Food allergies are typically the initial presentation of allergic disease. In the past, many medical/pediatric societies recommended avoidance or delayed introduction of certain foods, especially peanuts, in an attempt to reduce the risk of food allergy in children. However, it is now realized that this may not be the correct advice to give all mothers. The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study is a national, general population-based, longitudinal birth cohort study across four different centres in Canada: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. Data including maternal food frequency questionnaires and results of skin prick testing (SPT) to foods were collected. This data from the CHILD study was analyzed using a statistical analysis system (SAS) in order to determine the relationship between maternal consumption of peanut during pregnancy and the outcome of peanut sensitization as defined by SPT. Two mean wheal diameter cut-off points at 2 mm or greater or 3 mm or greater, which are commonly used in epidemiological studies, were used to indicate sensitization in this study. An unadjusted association was only found between maternal consumption of peanuts, other nuts and seeds and sensitization to peanut as indicated by development of a wheal measuring 3 mm or greater in diameter in response to skin prick testing.