Knowledge and Resource Hub
19 January 2018

The prevalence of food allergy and other allergic diseases in early childhood in a population-based study: HealthNuts age 4-year follow-up.

This research provides updated prevalence figures on food allergy at 1 year of age and the prevalence of food allergy, asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis at 4 year of age as part of the HeathNuts population-based study of paediatric food allergy. The prevalence of confirmed food allergy at age 1 and 4 years was 11.0% and 3.8%, respectively. At age 4 years, peanut allergy prevalence was 1.9%, egg allergy was 1.2%, and sesame allergy was 0.4%. Late-onset peanut allergy at age 4 years was rare (0.2%). The prevalence of current asthma was 10.8%, current eczema was 16.0%, and current allergic rhinitis was 8.3%. Forty percent to 50% of this population-based cohort experienced symptoms of an allergic disease in the first 4 years of their life. Although the prevalence of food allergy decreased between age 1 year and age 4 years in this population-based cohort, the prevalence of any allergic disease among 4-year-old children in Melbourne is remarkably high.