Key words Food allergy
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract At the age of 5 years, the prevalence of atopic manifestations was analysed in 58 formula-fed "at risk" infants because of a history of atopic disease in at least two first degree relatives. Infants were randomly assigned to receive either a partial whey-hydrolysate formula (n: 28) or a regular cow's milk formula (n: 30) during the first 6 months of life; thereafter, feeding was unrestricted. Only non-breastfed infants were included. The groups did not differ in risk factors or in known confounding factors possibly influencing the incidence of manifestations suggestive of atopic disease. At 6 months, the prevalence of cow's milk protein (CMP) sensitivity was significantly decreased in the hydrolysate group (7% versus 43%; P: 0.002). At the age of 12 (21% versus 53%; P: 0.029), 36 (25% versus 57%; P: 0.018) and 60 months (29% versus 60%; P: 0.016) there was still a significant difference in the number of atopic manifestations, if calculated cumulatively. There was no difference between the groups if only the new cases after the age of 6 months were considered. Eczema was less frequent in the whey-hydrolysate group, but only during the 1st year of life, suggesting a decreased prevalence of CMP sensitivity. During the first 6 months, diarrhoea of non-infectious origin occurred in 8/30 infants (27%) of the adapted formula group, and in no infant in the hydrolysate group. "Colic as single manifestation" was considered of "allergic" origin in 1/28 infants in the hydrolysate group, and in 4/30 infants in the adapted formula group. If gastro-intestinal symptoms such as "diarrhoea and colic as single manifestation" are not considered, the number of infants with CMP sensitivity remains only significant for the first 6 months (P: 0.004). At 12, 36 and 60 months, differences are not significant (0.106, 0.116 and 0.07, respectively). The results of this study support the hypothesis that allergy prevention is antigen specific. Conclusion If mother’s milk is not available and other studies confirm these results, there might be an indication for partial hydrolysates in infants with a family history of atopy, since these formulae reduce the incidence of CMP sensitivity.
Type of Medium: