Objectives: We conducted this study to determine the incidence of food allergy (FA) in Korean infants and identify the risk factors of FAs during the first year of life in a birth cohort study.
Methods: Pregnant women ≥34 weeks of gestation were enrolled in this study. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires describing basic demographic information including family history of allergic diseases. Since birth, all the babies were regularly followed up for FA symptoms through telephone interviews at 4, 8, and 12 months of age. FA was defined as a repetitive convincing history of immediate allergic reactions following the ingestion of offending food.
Results & conclusions: A total of 1177 infants and their parents completed this study. The prevalence of FA was 5.3% in infants. The three leading food allergens were hen's eggs (33/62), cow's milk (20/62) and peanut/nuts (8/62). Children with a history of maternal AD showed a significantly higher prevalence of FA (P = 0.012) [aRR = 3.17]. In addition, children who were born during autumn had a higher prevalence than those born during spring (p = 0.005) [aRR = 3.48]. In conclusion, we identified several characteristics that may influence the development of FA in the next generation, including maternal AD and autumn birth.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.