University Study Finds Inner-City Youth More Likely to Have Food Allergies

JHUNewSquareA new study led by scientists at the John Hopkins University Children’s Center finds that young inner-city children, a group where African Americans make up a large percentage of the population, are more likely than other children to suffer from food allergies. Previous research has shown that these children are also more likely to have asthma.

The study found that 10 percent of young inner-city children had food allergies. Peanut allergies were the most common, followed by eggs, and milk. Nationwide about 3 percent of all adults and 6 percent of young children have food allergies.

Senior investigator on the project, Robert Wood, director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins University, said that “our findings are a wake-up call, signaling an urgent need to unravel the causes, contributors, and mechanisms that drive the high prevalence of food allergies among an already vulnerable group known for its high risk of asthma and environmental allergies.”

The article, “Influence of Early-Life Exposures on Food Sensitization and Food Allergy in an Inner-City Birth Cohort,” was published on the website of Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. It may be accessed here. Researchers from Boston University, Columbia University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Wisconsin also participated in the study.

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