A study in Australia found that children born in the country of Asian-born parents have an increased risk of peanut allergy compared to those whose parents were born in Australia. The research, newly-published in the journal Allergy admits that it is preliminary and from a relatively small sampling, but it’s leading to a more population-wide study to be conducted at the University of Melbourne.
Investigators screened 5,276 patients with skin prick tests or food challenges for peanut allergy in Australian medical records. They then cross-referenced the results with where the patient’s parents were born and found that infants with one or both parents being East Asian-born were more likely to have peanut allergies than those whose parents were born in Australia, the United Kingdom, or Europe.
A higher prevalence of eczema in infants with Asian parents was correlated as a partial explanation.
The researchers believe that the higher risk to babies born in this generation to Asian-born parents is suggestive of a gene-environment interaction. Instances of dog ownership, for example, have been found to also correlate with allergy risks among infants.
The study can be read