Peanut Allergy more Prevalent in Black Kids

November 12, 2012

Peanut Allergy more Prevalent in Black Kids

American researchers have recently conducted a study which suggests that black children may be more susceptible to developing peanut allergy. After studying the genetic profiles of a group of children from diverse racial origins around three years old, the researchers have concluded that black children were more prone to develop peanut allergy. The reason for this was because they were found to have higher levels of allergic antibodies to food allergens.

African origins were linked to the amounts of allergic antibodies to peanuts which were found in the children. Dr. Rajesh Kumar, an associate professor of pediatrics and a pediatric allergist, who was the study leader said, “National studies show there are higher rates of allergic antibodies to food in African American individuals”. He explains how the study identified that the person’s origin had a bearing on how likely they were to have an increased risk of having allergic antibodies. The more people from the child’s family from Africa caused an increase in the likelihood that the child’s level of allergic antibodies to peanut would rise. Genetic analysis measured how much input the ancestors from each continental area provided to the child’s make up.

The results of the study were published in the journal Pediatrics in its October issue.

Kumar acknowledges that further rigorous research is required into environmental and genetic issues which have an input in the numbers of people affected by food allergy in the U.S. He concludes by saying, “The study underlines the need for continued follow up, especially in exploring environmental and genetic factors so we can answer ‘why’ there this association of peanut allergy with African ancestry”.

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