Presence of symptoms in exclusively breastfed healthy 3-month-old infants suggests possible overdiagnosis of cow’s milk allergies
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Guideline-defined symptoms of non-immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated cow’s milk allergy (CMA) are common in infants, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in Clinical & Experimental Allergy.
Rosie Vincent, M.B.Ch.B., from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed the frequency of symptoms associated with non-IgE-mediated CMA during infancy using the international Milk Allergy in Primary Care guideline. This secondary analysis included data for 1,303 exclusively breastfed 3-month-old healthy infants from the EAT trial.
The researchers found that two or more non-IgE CMA symptoms were reported by 25 percent of families for mild-to-moderate symptoms and 1.4 percent for severe symptoms each month between ages 3 and 12 months. There was a peak of 38 percent with two or more mild-to-moderate symptoms and 4.3 percent with two or more severe symptoms at 3 months, even when participants were not directly consuming cow’s milk. During at least one month of the study period, 74 percent of participants reported two or more mild-to-moderate symptoms and 9 percent reported two or more severe symptoms. At six months, there was no difference between those consuming and not consuming cow’s milk in terms of the proportion of children with two or more symptoms.
“Guidelines may promote milk allergy overdiagnosis by labeling normal infant symptoms as possible milk allergy,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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