Allergic disease is a public health burden
Up to one third of children develop one of the allergic diseases; 7% develop life-threatening food allergy, 25.0% eczema, 20.9% asthma and 10.1% allergic rhinitis.[1-3] These conditions can have a devastating impact upon quality of life. The threat of undiagnosed food allergy weighs heavily on the minds of parents, with 12% of families being worried that their child reacts to food.
"It is evident that the NHS needs substantially more capacity in services for allergy generally, including clinical specialists."
The Department of Health released its report ‘A Review of Services for Allergy’ and found woeful lack of investment in allergy services across the UK.
And unfortunately, the national impact of Covid on our health system has only made the situation more challenging.
Nonetheless, effective translational treatments can be supported through access to care within the private sector.
Peanut allergy can be prevented
The dietary introduction and regular consumption of peanut from infancy can prevent up to 80% of allergy developing among at-risk children if consumption is continued.[2, 6]
Desensitisation is available
The impact of food allergies may lessened through the proactive introduction of baked milk and baked egg products, and by the end of 2021 peanut desensitisation will be licensed across the UK.
Conventional treatments remain bedrock
There is a tendency to hope new treatments will solve all problems. Excellent care requires clinical wisdom, effective conventional treatments and 21st century therapy.
Aeroallergen therapy remains under utilised
Throughout the UK, few hospitals have availability of effective immunotherapy products. Whilst children are at risk of worsened airway disease and seasonal exacerbations, simple safe effective treatments may dramatically improve symptoms for those most affected.
Claims are nothing without the evidence
- Flohr C, Perkin M, Logan K, Marrs T, Radulovic S, Campbell LE, MacCallum SF, McLean WHI, Lack G: Atopic dermatitis and disease severity are the main risk factors for food sensitization in exclusively breastfed infants. J Invest Dermatol 2014, 134(2):345-350.
- Perkin MR, Logan K, Tseng A, Raji B, Ayis S, Peacock J, Brough H, Marrs T, Radulovic S, Craven J et al: Randomized Trial of Introduction of Allergenic Foods in Breast-Fed Infants. N Engl J Med 2016, 374(18):1733-1743.
- Asher MI, Montefort S, Bjorksten B, Lai CK, Strachan DP, Weiland SK, Williams H, Group IPTS: Worldwide time trends in the prevalence of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in childhood: ISAAC Phases One and Three repeat multicountry cross-sectional surveys. Lancet 2006, 368(9537):733-743.
- Cummings AJ, Knibb RC, Erlewyn-Lajeunesse M, King RM, Roberts G, Lucas JS: Management of nut allergy influences quality of life and anxiety in children and their mothers. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010, 21(4 Pt 1):586-594.
- Venter C, Pereira B, Grundy J, Clayton CB, Arshad SH, Dean T: Prevalence of sensitization reported and objectively assessed food hypersensitivity amongst six-year-old children: a population-based study. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2006, 17(5):356-363.
- Du Toit G, Roberts G, Sayre PH, Bahnson HT, Radulovic S, Santos AF, Brough HA, Phippard D, Basting M, Feeney M et al: Randomized trial of peanut consumption in infants at risk for peanut allergy. N Engl J Med 2015, 372(9):803-813.
- Anagnostou K, Stiefel G, Brough H, du Toit G, Lack G, Fox AT: Active management of food allergy: an emerging concept. Arch Dis Child 2015, 100(4):386-390.
- Investigators PGoC, Vickery BP, Vereda A, Casale TB, Beyer K, du Toit G, Hourihane JO, Jones SM, Shreffler WG, Marcantonio A et al: AR101 Oral Immunotherapy for Peanut Allergy. N Engl J Med 2018, 379(21):1991-2001.