In a paper published online in advance in Pediatrics this week, a team led by investigators at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago shows that food-allergen sensitization varies according to self-identified race or genetic ancestry. By examining 1,104 children from a multi-ethnic birth cohort, the team found that "black children were more likely to be sensitized to food allergens and were sensitized to more foods," and that "African ancestry was associated with peanut sensitization." According to New Scientist, when the researchers tested the children for milk allergies, "they found that children whose mothers identified them as black were more likely to be allergic to milk, regardless of their genetic ancestry." Rajesh Kumar, lead author on the study, says that while "genetic factors appear to be important in peanut allergies ... but milk sensitivity might result from cultural factors," New Scientist says.
Race, Ancestry, and Food Allergen Risks
Sep 06, 2011