Background: The role of timing and diversity of allergenic food introduction in the development of childhood allergic sensitization and atopic diseases is controversial. Objective: To examine whether timing and diversity of allergenic food introduction are associated with allergic sensitization, allergy and eczema in children until age 10 years. Materials and methods: This study among 5,202 children was performed in a population-based prospective cohort. Timing (age 6 months vs. >6 months) and diversity (0, 1, 2 and 3 foods) of allergenic food (cow’s milk, hen’s egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy and gluten) introduction were assessed by questionnaires at ages 6 and 12 months. At age 10 years, inhalant and food allergic sensitization were measured by skin prick tests, and physician-diagnosed inhalant and food allergy by questionnaire. Data on parental-reported physician-diagnosed eczema were obtained from birth until age 10 years. Results: Children introduced to gluten at age 6 months had a decreased risk of eczema (aOR (95% CI): 0.84 (0.72, 0.99)), compared with children introduced to gluten at age >6 months. However, timing of allergenic food introduction was not associated with allergic sensitization or physician-diagnosed allergy. Children introduced to 3 allergenic foods at age 6 months had a decreased risk of physician-diagnosed inhalant allergy (0.64 (0.42, 0.98)), compared with children not introduced to any allergenic food at age 6 months. However, diversity of allergenic food introduction was not associated with allergic sensitization, physician-diagnosed food allergy or eczema. Conclusion: Neither timing nor diversity of allergenic food introduction was consistently associated with childhood allergic sensitization, allergy or eczema.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187999, hdl.handle.net/1765/103207
Journal PLoS ONE
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id h2020/696295 - ERA-NET Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health implementing the JPI HDHL objectives (ERA-HDHL), This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id h2020/733206 - Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health (LIFECYCLE)
Citation
Elbert, N.J, Kiefte-de Jong, J.C, Voortman, R.G, Nijsten, T.E.C, de Jong, N.W, Jaddoe, V.W.V, … Pasmans, S.G.M.A. (2017). Allergenic food introduction and risk of childhood atopic diseases. PLoS ONE, 12(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0187999