Persistent Food Allergy and Food Allergy Coexistent with Eczema Is Associated with Reduced Growth in the First 4 Years of Life

Cara Beck, Jennifer J. Koplin, Shyamali Dharmage, Melissa Wake, Lyle Gurrin, Vicki McWilliam, Mimi Tang, Cong Sun, Rebecca Foskey, Katrina J. Allen, Noel Cranswick, Joanne Smart, Jo Douglass, A. L.K. Abello, S. A. Madrid, Colin F Robertson, David Hill, Peter Vuillermin, Nicholas Osborne, Megan MathersRachel Peters, Thanh D. Dang, Dean Tey, Marnie Robinson, Giovanni Zurzolo, Leone Thiele, Helen Czech, Holly Shaw, Deborah Anderson, Jana Eckert, Nadine Bertalli, Jeeva Sanjeevan, Tina Tan, Pamela Martin, Carley Garner, Kaye Trembath, Hayley Crawford, Noor Suaini, Manuel Ferreira, David J. Martino, Richard Saffery, Justine Ellis, Richard Saffery, John Molloy, Maia Brewerton, Paul Licciardi, Kate Tilbrook, Sonia Chhabra

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Food allergy has been associated with lower weight and height in cross-sectional studies in children; however, this has not been investigated in longitudinal studies to explore growth over time, and previous studies have not accounted for coexisting eczema. 

    Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the association of IgE-mediated food allergy and eczema with anthropometric measures at 1 and 4 years of age. 

    Methods: In the HealthNuts population-based cohort, infants recruited at age 1 year underwent a skin prick test to egg, peanut, and sesame; those sensitized had oral food challenges. Food challenges repeated at 4 years determined food allergy persistence or resolution. Eczema was defined as parent report of eczema diagnosis. Parent-reported weight and height and child health record data were used to calculate age- and sex-adjusted percentiles from World Health Organization charts. Multivariable linear regression models were fitted to examine the effect of food allergy and eczema on weight and height controlling for potential confounders. 

    Results: Children with both food allergy and eczema at age 1 had lower percentiles for mean weight (51.3 vs 58.3 percentile, P = .001) and height (48.4 vs 53.4, P = .028) at age 1 compared with those with neither condition. There was no difference for children with only food allergy or eczema at age 1. By age 4, children with persistent food allergy and persistent eczema, but not those with resolved food allergy, were still shorter and lighter. 

    Conclusions: Children with both food allergy and eczema were shorter and lighter throughout early childhood, with more pronounced differences in those with persistent food allergy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)248-256.e3
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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