Kids May Outgrow Tree Nut Allergy

About 1 in 10 lose their allergy to cashews, pistachios or other tree nuts, study found

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- About nine percent of children with tree nut allergies will outgrow their allergy, a new study suggests.

Previously, it was believed that allergies to tree nuts -- including cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and pine nuts -- lasted a lifetime. On the other hand, children with allergy to peanut (a ground nut) have a 20 percent chance of outgrowing their allergy.

In their study of 278 people ranging from 3 to 21 years of age, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore also found that some children who've had a previous, especially severe allergic reaction to tree nuts can outgrow their allergy. However, children who are allergic to multiple types of tree nuts are unlikely to outgrow their allergy, the research team said.

The findings appear in the November issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

Based on their results, the study authors recommend that children with tree nut allergies be re-evaluated periodically by an allergist/immunologist. They suggest that oral challenges should be considered in children 4 years of age and older who have less than five kilounits per liter of tree-nut specific-IgE in their blood.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about nut and peanut allergies.

SOURCE: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, news release, Nov. 7, 2005
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