"We found that children who hadn't had egg introduced by 12 months were more likely to have egg allergy at 6 years," said lead author Dr. Giulia Martone, who is scheduled to present the findings Sunday at a meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), in New Orleans.
Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Among the more than 2,200 parents surveyed, 0.6% reported an egg allergy in their children at 1 year of age, the study found. Of the more than 1,400 parents who reported food allergy data on their children until age 6, 0.8% reported an egg allergy at that age.
Children with egg allergy at ages 1 and 6 ate fewer eggs at 5, 6, 7 and 10 months of age than those without egg allergy, the researchers reported.
"Egg allergy is the second most common food allergy throughout the world," senior author Dr. Xiaozhong Wen said in an ACAAI news release.
"Current evidence suggests that early introduction of egg during infancy, followed by consistent and frequent feedings, seems protective against development of egg allergy. We are still investigating optimal timing of infant egg introduction and frequency of feeding," Wen said.
The allergy-prevention strategy is a familiar one. Since 2017, allergists and pediatricians have said that parents should introduce peanut product to children around the time they begin eating solid foods to reduce the risk of peanut allergy.
Food Allergy Research and Education has more on egg allergy.
SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release, Nov. 5, 2021
Dr. Kenneth Backman comments: “this study is consistent with previous studies demonstrating that early food introduction can prevent the development of food allergies in infants. A diverse diet early in life offers the best chance of avoiding or reducing food allergies.”