Common food allergy questions answered and childhood asthma risk

March 26, 2018

I hope you have had a productive March and that Annals has in some way contributed to your productivity. I want to be certain that you are aware of two of the useful articles in this month’s issue.

The first is by Maureen Egan, MD, and Matthew Greenhawt, MD, MBA, MSc, FACAAI, who address multiple common questions about food allergy that are often asked by our patients and their family members. Such questions include:

  • Issues related to the risk of reaction from inhaling peanut dust or vapors (as opposed to eating).
  • If highly refined peanut oil is ok.
  • Concerns about accidental peanut exposure on airlines.
  • Whether soy milk is risky in children with cow’s milk allergy.
  • The idea of advocating for specific allergen bans (i.e. milk, peanut) in public environments.

The authors skillfully address the basis for these myths and the evidentiary support needed for us to refute these myths for our patients. It is a very scholarly yet practical approach to these issues.

Another article that should interest many is by Yangho Kim, MD, and colleagues who studied over 3,700 Korean children between ages 5-12. They examined perinatal factors that could be associated with asthma risk. In the study population, 514 had physician-diagnosed asthma. By comparing these two groups, it was found that perinatal oxygen therapy, tobacco smoke exposure and parental allergic history were all associated with increased risk of childhood asthma. Breastfeeding was associated with a moderate protective effect and mitigated some of the other risk factors. These data may be useful in counseling prospective parents about perinatal factors associated with risk for developing asthma and may be incorporated into environmental control strategies for these children.

As always, we hope we are addressing the needs and interests of our readers. Please let me know your thoughts and concerns related to content and presentation for the Annals of Allergy, asthma and Immunology.

Gailen D. Marshall, Jr, MD PhD, FACAAI