\"Peanut allergy risk has trebled\"

Posted on: Mon, 11/18/2002 - 5:28pm
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Extract from the Daily Mail, (UK), Nov. 19,2002. All copyrights acknowledged.

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The number of children developing life-threatening peanut allergies has trebled in only 10 years.

The rise could be due to more women eating peanuts when they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It is also possible that children are sensitised by coming into contact with pre-packed foods contaminated with traces of peanuts.

Researchers at the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre on the Isle of Wight tested 1246 children born between 1994 and 1996 for allergy to peanuts. They found that 3.3% were positive. A similar survey carried out in 1989 showed a rate of only 1.1%, says a report published yesterday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Up to 10 people a year die from reactions caused by coming into contact with even minute quantities of peanuts.

A survey carried out by the Anaphylaxis Campaign, which helps sufferers of peanut allergy, and the Food Standards Agency, found that 56% of pre-packed food carried a warning that it may be contaminated with nuts.

Campaign director David Reading said : "Peanut allergy can cast a real shadow over family life. But parents need to know that, although it is serious, it is manageable".

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