Prediction of clinical peanut allergy status among children in Hamilton, Ontario using chart review data collected during 2012–2015
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BACKGROUND: Peanut sensitization does not necessarily indicate clinical peanut allergy, and uncertainty as to whether or not there is true peanut allergy can lead to increased anxiety and decreased quality of life for patients and their families. The gold standard for diagnosing clinical peanut allergy is the oral food challenge, but this method is time-consuming and can cause severe allergic reactions. It would therefore be beneficial to develop a tool for predicting clinical peanut allergy in peanut-sensitized individuals whose peanut allergy status is unknown so as to better determine who requires an oral food challenge for diagnosis. METHODS: Two separate studies were conducted. In Study 1, we recruited 100 participants from the allergy clinic at McMaster University and community allergy outpatient clinics in the greater Hamilton area. We examined 18 different variables from participants and used univariate and multivariable logistic regression analysis to determine how well these variables, singly and in combination, were able to predict clinical peanut allergy status. In Study 2, we conducted a retrospective chart review of a second cohort of 194 participants to investigate the reproducibility of our findings. This was a matched case-control study where 97 peanut-allergic participants were gender- and age-matched to 97 non-allergic control participants. RESULTS: Peanut skin prick test wheal size was the best predictor of clinical peanut allergy in both study cohorts. For every 1 mm increase in wheal size, the odds ratio of an individual having clinical peanut allergy was 2.36 in our first cohort and 4.85 in our second cohort. No other variable approached the predictive power of wheal size. CONCLUSIONS: Peanut skin prick test wheal size is a robust predictor of clinical peanut reactivity. The findings of this study may be useful in guiding clinician decision-making regarding peanut allergy diagnostics.
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