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Ten-year review reveals changing trends and severity of allergic reactions to nuts and other foods




Over the past few decades, the incidence of food allergies has risen and Sweden has increased its import of peanuts and exotic nuts, such as cashew nuts, which may cause severe allergic reactions. This study aimed to retrospectively investigate paediatric emergency visits due to food reactions over a 10-year period, focusing on reactions to peanuts and tree nuts.


Emergency visits to Uppsala University Children's Hospital, Sweden, between September 2001 and December 2010, were reviewed, and cases containing diagnostic codes for anaphylaxis, allergic reactions or allergy and hypersensitivity not caused by drugs or biological substances were retrieved.


We analysed 703 emergency visits made by 578 individuals with food allergies. Peanuts and tree nuts accounted for 50% of the food allergies and were more frequently associated with adrenaline treatment and hospitalisation than other foods. Cashew nut reactions increased over the study period, and together with peanuts, they were responsible for more anaphylactic reactions than hazelnuts.


Peanut and tree nut reactions were more likely to result in adrenaline treatment and hospitalisation than other food reactions. Peanut and cashew nut reactions were more likely to cause anaphylaxis than hazelnuts. Cashew nut reactions increased during the study period.

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