Peanut allergies are more common among boys from wealthy backgrounds than those who live in poverty, researchers have claimed.
Boys are also more likely than girls to have the allergy, which can in some cases be fatal, especially when it causes anaphylactic shock.
The scientists do however point out that more research is necessary to back their claims because they are unable to explain why social class and gender seem so influential.
But the latest study shows that wealthier boys are the most likely group of children to have an allergic reaction to peanuts. The scientists said they also found that males under 20 are around a third more likely to be affected than females in the same age group, although this trend is reversed come adulthood.
Children aged five-nine are the most likely to display allergic reaction to peanuts.
Study leader Daniel Kotz said: “This research has shown that whilst peanut allergy is less common than previously thought, it affects over 25,000 people in England. Having a serious allergy like this can cause great anxiety and stress to those affected. We now need more research to help explain why the condition occurs relatively more often in boys and affluent people.”
- Nicolaou N, et al. Allergy or tolerance in children sensitized to peanut: Prevalence and differentiation using component-resolved diagnostics. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; 2010. 125: 191-197
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