Nut Allergic Patients Struggle to Recognize Nut Types

Only half of people with peanut or tree nut allergies know what the nut they are allergic to looks like, according to a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting in Phoenix Nov. 11-16. Researchers assembled a nut display that held peanuts and nine tree nuts in 19 different forms. A worksheet, which listed the items, was completed by 1,105 participants 6 years or older. Responses were analyzed based on demographics, presence or absence of food allergies, and occupational history. Neither adults nor children recognized all the forms of the nuts.

Peanuts and tree nuts are common food allergens among children and adults and are the leading cause of death from food-induced anaphylaxis. Since the primary treatment is to avoid nuts, children and parents must be able to identify peanuts and tree nuts in their common forms, say the study’s authors. “Treatment of nut allergies with dietary avoidance should include education for both adults and children on identification of peanuts and tree nuts.”

Title: The Ability of Adults and Children to Visually Identify Peanuts and Tree Nuts

Co-authors: Todd L. Hostetler, MD, and ACAAI Member Bryan Martin, MD, The Ohio State University/Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH

By the numbers:
More than 3 million people in the United States report being allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, or both. An allergist can help people identify the specific foods that trigger an allergic reaction and discuss actions to avoid them.

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

Follow the ACCAI annual meeting on Twitter at #ACAAI2010.

The ACAAI Press Room is located in Room 121B at the Phoenix Convention Center, November 12 - 15, 2010; phone 602-514-5360, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Source:  American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)

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