Higher Rate of Food Allergies Found in Children Born in Fall

According to a recently published study, Children born in the fall months have an increased rate of food allergies. This is particularly true in Caucasian children and those with eczema. The researchers, based at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, undertook the study to investigate the way that season of birth may impact food allergy risk. The study was published online April 19 in Allergy, according to Medical Xpress.

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The study was led by Corinne A. Keet, M.D., and used data from 5,8262 children included in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, along with data from 1,514 children with food allergies treated at the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Allergy Clinic (JHPAC).

The researchers found that, in both of the data sets, children with food allergies were more likely to be born in autumn than in other seasons. They also discovered that the link was even stronger in Caucasians and in children who had also been diagnosed with the skin condition eczema. Both of these findings have important implications regarding how season of birth may be impacting the development of food allergies.

In the report, the study's authors wrote "Fall birth is associated with increased risk of food allergy, and this risk is greatest among those most likely to have seasonal variation in vitamin D during infancy (Caucasians) and those at risk for skin barrier dysfunction (subjects with a history of eczema), suggesting that vitamin D and the skin barrier may be implicated in seasonal associations with food allergy."

photo by John Nyboer,

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