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Child food allergy: results of a Belgian cohort.



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In the following study it is worth noting that nutella is a popular spread given to young children to put on bread and toast and it contains hazelnuts.

A description of the experience

Child food allergy: results of a Belgian cohort. - [Article in French]
- Mulier S, Hanssens L, Chaouat P, Casimir G; 
Service de Pneumologie et d'Allergologie, Clinique de l'Anaphylaxie alimentaire Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola, ULB.

Food Allergy is a public health problem because of its increasingly prevalence, its severity and the difficulty of diagnosis.

to describe the responsible food allergens and the clinical features of food allergy in a large group of Belgian children.

156 cases of food allergy observed between May 2002 and May 2005 were retrospectively reviewed. All patients have specific IgE. Unequivocal history, response to elimination diet, labial or oral food challenge confirmed the diagnostic.

Median age is 26 months (range 1 months-14 years) and male to female ratio is 1.6. Fifty-nine percent of the cases are younger than 3 years. Family history of atopic disease is found in 80.3%. Foods most commonly involved are:

  • eggs (31%),
  • tree nuts (18.1% including hazelnuts 12.3%),
  • cow's milk (16.1%),
  • peanuts (13.2%),
  • fish (4.5%),
  • latex fruits (4.5%).

The clinical manifestations are: atopic dermatitis (44.2%), urticaria (40.4%), angioedema (36.5%), gastrointestinal symptoms (21.8%), laryngeal edema (11.5%), asthma (9%), oral allergy syndrome (7.7%), systemic reactions (7.7%) and anaphylactic shock (3.8%). Multiple food allergies are rare: 78.9% of our population have one or two food allergies.

This study confirms the usual distribution of food allergens in children. It shows that only four allergens (egg, tree nut, cow's milk, peanut) are responsible for 78.4% of the reactions and highlights the emergence of tree nuts allergy, particularly hazelnuts, in Belgium.

The source of the experience


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