, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 175-181

The natural history of peanut and tree nut allergy

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Abstract

Peanut and tree nut allergies were once thought to be permanent. Recent studies have shown that about 20% and 10%, respectively, of young patients may outgrow peanut and tree nut allergies. For the majority of patients, however, the natural history is not favorable. In addition, approximately 8% of patients who outgrow peanut allergy may suffer a recurrence. The rising prevalence of these allergies, coupled with the knowledge that allergic reactions to these foods have the potential to be severe or fatal and that accidental exposures are common, makes developing effective treatments to alter the natural history of peanut and tree nut allergies even more crucial for those who will not outgrow them. At this time, avoidance of the offending foods and being prepared to treat a potential reaction after accidental ingestion is the only treatment, but many promising therapeutic interventions are being investigated.