Issue: October 2011
October 01, 2011
1 min read

Black children more likely to be food sensitive than white children

Kumar R. Pediatrics. 2011;doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0691.

Issue: October 2011
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Black children may be more likely to be sensitive to certain foods than children of other ethnicities, according to research published online this week.

Rajesh Kumar, MD, MS, of Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, examined the DNA of 1,104 2-year-olds who were born at Boston Medical Center to determine whether genetics plays a role in food sensitivities. The children were tested for several different types of food allergies, including milk, eggs, peanuts, shrimp, soy, walnuts, wheat and cod.

Thirty-eight percent of the children who were identified as black by their mothers had some type of food sensitization vs. 22% of white children.

The researchers also factored in other influences of food sensitization, such as breast-feeding and whether the mother smoked, and the African-American children were more than twice as likely to have food sensitization, considering those factors. They said children with more African genetic markers were more likely to be sensitive to peanuts.

The data also suggested that children of Hispanic descent were more likely to have food sensitivities, but the researchers said more data are needed before drawing that conclusion.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures. The study was supported by the National Institute for Health Research.

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