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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Frequent baked egg ingestion was not associated with change in rate of decline in egg skin prick test in children with challenge confirmed egg allergy

Authors

  • D. Tey,

    1. Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    3. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
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  • S. C. Dharmage,

    1. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    2. Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic Epidemiology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • M. N. Robinson,

    1. Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    3. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
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  • K. J. Allen,

    1. Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    3. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
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  • L. C. Gurrin,

    1. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    2. Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic Epidemiology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • M. L. K. Tang

    1. Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    2. Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
    3. Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
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Correspondence:

Mimi L. K. Tang, Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.

E-mail: mimi.tang@rch.org.au

Summary

Background

It is controversial whether egg-allergic children should strictly avoid all forms of egg, or if regular ingestion of baked egg will either delay or hasten the resolution of egg allergy.

Objective

This is the first study to examine the relationship between frequency of baked egg ingestion and rate of decline in egg skin prick test size in egg-allergic children.

Methodology

This was a retrospective clinical cohort study. All children with challenge-proven egg allergy who attended the Royal Children's Hospital Allergy Department 1996–2005 and had at least two egg skin prick tests performed in this period were included (n = 125). Frequency of baked egg ingestion was assessed by telephone questionnaire as follows: (a) frequent (> once per week), (b) regular (> once every 3 months, up to ≤ once per week) or (c) strict avoidance (≤ once every 3 months). The relationship between frequency of baked egg ingestion and rate of decline in egg skin prick test size was examined by multiple linear regression, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results

Mean rate of decline in egg skin prick test size in all children was 0.7 mm/year (95% CI 0.5–1.0 mm/year). There was no evidence (P = 0.57) that the rate of decline in egg skin prick test size differed between children who undertook frequent ingestion (n = 21, mean 0.4 mm/year, 95% CI −0.3–1.2 mm/year), regular ingestion (n = 37, mean 0.9 mm/year, 95% CI 0.4–1.4 mm/year) or strict avoidance (n = 67, mean 0.7 mm/year, 95% CI 0.4–1.1 mm/year) of baked egg.

Conclusions

Compared with strict dietary avoidance, frequent consumption of baked egg was not associated with a different rate of decline in egg skin prick test size in egg-allergic children.

Clinical Relevance

Given that dietary restrictions can adversely impact on the family, it is reasonable to consider liberalizing baked egg in the diet of egg-allergic children.

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