ATLANTA (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – Within a cohort of children diagnosed with peanut allergy who were followed since 2001, peanut IgE levels increased significantly over time in all races, according to a preliminary analysis of data.

In an interview in advance of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, lead study author Yasmin Hamzavi, MD, said that recent publications have implicated race as a factor in food sensitization, but how this may impact the management of food allergy has not been elucidated. “The novel aspect of this study is that we are not just looking at the baseline peanut IgE levels between the races, but at the rate of change in peanut IgE over time between the different races,” said Dr. Hamzavi, a fellow in the division of allergy and immunology at Northwell Health, Great Neck, N.Y. “My question was, does the level of peanut IgE decrease or increase faster in one race versus another?”

For the preliminary analysis, she and her associates Cristina Sison, PhD, and Punita Ponda, MD, reviewed the medical records of 250 children aged 0-17 years. Of these, 193 (77%) were diagnosed with peanut allergy. The researchers reviewed peanut IgE levels during each clinic visit patients made between Jan. 1, 2001, and May 31, 2016. They used a mixed-models approach to repeated measures of variance to compare white, black, and Asian patients with respect to patterns of change in peanut IgE over time.

A significant increase in peanut IgE over time was observed among all races (P less than .0002). In addition, white and Asian children showed an increasing trend in peanut IgE, while black children demonstrated a decreasing trend over time (P less than .099), a finding that Dr. Hamzavi described as “surprising and unusual.” She called for larger studies exploring factors for the noted increase among all races, such as changes in testing methods, food avoidance, and increasing sensitization. “Understanding the changes in peanut sensitization over time is a crucial step in determining the likelihood of clinical reactivity,” she said.

Dr. Hamzavi is reviewing data for a similar analysis of children with milk and egg allergy. She reported having no financial disclosures.