NIAID Releases New Clinical Guidelines for Prevention of Peanut Allergy

 

[Press Release]

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AAFA Applauds NIAID Release of Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy

New Clinical Guidelines Focus on Peanut Allergy Prevention

January 5, 2016, LANDOVER, MD – The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) applauds the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), release of new Addendum Guidelines today to help clinicians introduce peanut-containing foods to infants to prevent the development of peanut allergy. The new Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the United States supplement the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States, and emphasizes that infants should start other solid foods before they are introduced to age appropriate peanut-containing foods.

The three guidelines for when infants should be introduced to peanut-containing foods are:

  • Guideline 1: Infants at high risk of developing peanut allergy due to severe eczema, egg allergy, or both should have peanut-containing foods introduced into their diets as early as 4 to 6 months of age. All infants in this group should have peanut IgE testing performed prior to introduction.
  • Guideline 2: Infants with mild or moderate eczema should have peanut-containing foods introduced into their diets around 6 months of age. No testing is necessary in this group prior to introduction.
  • Guideline 3: Infants without eczema or any food allergy should have peanut-containing foods freely introduced into their diets, without any testing beforehand.

“This represents a monumental shift in our understanding of peanut allergy and ways to prevent it from developing. Previously, pediatricians and allergists recommended avoidance of peanut until 3 years of age, but now mounting evidence demonstrates that we can prevent a significant number of new peanut allergy cases by introducing it into the diet during infancy,” said David R. Stukus, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics Section of Allergy/Immunology Nationwide Children’s Hospital, member of AAFA’s Board of Directors, and part of the NIAID Coordinating Committee, and the Expert Panel that drafted the Addendum Guidelines. “It’s important to understand that the majority of infants can have this safely introduced at home without any evaluation but those at highest risk (severe eczema and/or egg allergy) should be evaluated for the presence of peanut allergy antibody prior to introduction.”

Peanut allergy is a growing health problem for which no treatment or cure exists. “AAFA is dedicated to keeping infants and children with food allergies safe and healthy until a cure is found. AAFA is proud to have participated in the NIAID Expert Panel and Coordinating Committee to help develop the Addendum Guidelines,” said Meryl Bloomrosen, MBA, MBI, AAFA’s Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Research, and member of the NIAID Coordinating Committee. “We commend NIAID for its timely response to the results of the landmark NIAID-funded Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, published last year. We look forward to educating parents and caregivers of infants so that they are familiar with these guidelines, which is essential to their successful implementation.”

About NIH and NIAID

NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. NIAID conducts and supports research – at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide – to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website. For more information about NIH, and NIAID, visit www.nih.gov, and www.niaid.nih.gov.

About AAFA

Founded in 1953 and celebrating over 60 years of service, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the oldest and largest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions through education, advocacy and research. AAFA provides practical information, community-based services, support and referrals through a national network of chapters and educational support groups. Through its Kids With Food Allergies division, AAFA offers the oldest, most extensive online support community for families raising children with food allergies. In September 2016, AAFA launched its Food Allergy Patient & Family Registry, a program that collects, manages and analyzes data from and about people with food allergies to advance research through patient information. For more information, visit www.aafa.org, https://research.kidswithfoodallergies.org/, and www.kidswithfoodallergies.org.

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