Allergy prevention

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

Our authors

Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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General information
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Allergies are a significant health and socio-economic problem. In addition to drug treatment, prevention plays an even more decisive role. Both primary prevention and secondary prevention are essential (see Prevention). The German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAI) developed an "evidence-based" guideline for this (see table 1).

The risk of developing an allergy is influenced by the time at which potentially allergenic foods are consumed. A meta-analysis with large collectives showed that early exposure (between 4 and 11 months of age) induces oral tolerance for both eggs and peanuts; this relationship is not clear for fish (Lerodiakonou 2016). This is not true for celiac disease.

Literature
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  1. Ierodiakonou D et al (2016) Timing of Allergenic Food Introduction to the Infant Diet and Risk of Allergic orAutoimmune
    Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA 316:1181-1192.
  2. Guideline of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAI) in cooperation with the German Dermatological Society (DDG), Action Alliance for Allergy Prevention. AWMF Guideline Register No. 061/016
  3. Worm M et al (2016) Guideline on the management of IgE-mediated food allergies. Allergology 39: 302-344

Tables
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Prevention measures

Family history: Secondary prevention

No family history: primary prevention

Exclusively breastfeeding for at least 4 months

Yeah ? (in the meantime the protective value of breastfeeding is being questioned)

Avoidance of potent food allergens in maternal diets during lactation (effect on atopic eczema possible) only justifiable after weighing the risks of malnutrition

yes

no

No supplementary food before the 4th month of life

yes

yes

No general diet for allergy prevention

yes

yes

No purchase of fur bearing animals

yes

yes

Avoidance of cat keeping

yes

no

Reduction of house dust mite allergen exposure

yes

no

Avoidance of a mould promoting climate

yes

yes

Avoidance of active and passive smoke exposure

yes

yes

Vaccination according to STIKO recommendations

yes

yes

Avoidance of Caesarean section yes yes

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020