University of Iceland Iceland
Title: Infant nutrition, growth and IgE sensitization to food allergens at 6 years: a longitudinal cohort
Prof. Inga Thorsdottir, Board Member in “FENS” Federation of European Nutritrition Societies. Dean of the School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland 2012, Professor in Human Nutrition, University of Iceland, School of Health Sciences (affiliation: Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition (formerly Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science) and Faculty of Nursing). Dean of the Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition from 2008-2012.
Background: There is conflicting evidence regarding the optimal age of introduction of solid food as well as vitamin D supplement use as primary prevention to reduce atopy and allergy.
Objectives: To compare nutrition, including age at solid food introduction and vitamin D as well as growth from infancy to 6 years between IgE sensitized and non-sensitized children.
Methods: In this prospective Icelandic cohort, serum specific IgE-antibodies against food were analyzed at 6 years (cut-off specific IgE≥0.35 kUA/L). Dietary information ≤ 4 months was assessed with a dietary recall, at 5 and 6 months with 1-day food records, and at 12 months and 6 years with 3-day weighed-food records. Weight, length/height and head circumference was measured in infancy and at 6 years. Background variables were gathered from parental questionnaires.
Results: Out of 144 6-year-old children, 14 (10%) were IgE sensitized. At 4 months (17 weeks), 57% IgE sensitized vs. 23% non-sensitized children (p=0.006) had received solid food. From birth to 2 months, IgE sensitized compared to non-sensitized children had greater increase in weight (mean±SD; 2.2±0.4 kg vs. 1.8±0.7 kg, p=0.039) and head circumference (4.9±1.2 cm vs. 4.2±0.7 cm, p=0.017) and at 6 years, IgE sensitized children were more likely overweight or obese (29% vs. 10%, p=0.041). At 12 months, IgE sensitized children had a lower intake of vitamin D (median (25th,75th percentiles); 3.9 μg/d (3.2,7.2) vs. 8.1 μg/d (4.4,12.3), p=0.034) and at 6 years, they were less likely to use vitamin D supplements (23% vs. 56%, p=0.026).
Conclusions: Solid food introduction prior to 4 months, a different growth pattern and less vitamin D intake was associated with increased IgE sensitization. This supports delaying solid food introduction to 4 months and encouraging vitamin D intake from diet or supplements in this population of northern latitude.