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  • New Study Examines the Significant Impact of Peanut Allergies on Quality of Life

    By: Jessica Huhn

New Study Examines the Significant Impact of Peanut Allergies on Quality of Life

By: Jessica Huhn

New Study Examines the Significant Impact of Peanut Allergies on Quality of Life

By: Jessica Huhn

Learn what the findings from the APPEAL-1 study reveal about living with a peanut allergy, and steps parents can take to help prevent their babies from developing a peanut allergy in the future. 

Aimmune’s recent APPEAL-1 Study (Allergy to Peanuts ImPacting Emotions And Life-1), the largest study of its kind in Europe, investigated the ways a peanut allergy impacts quality of life for people with peanut allergies and their caregivers, including how:

  • 35% of children needed an Epi-Pen and hospital treatment for a peanut allergy reaction
  • Peanut allergies can bring stress, fear, and anxiety to people who live with these allergies, i.e. 90% said their peanut allergy made them frustrated and stressed. 
  • 75% said peanut allergies have negatively affected their social lives. 
  • Crucially, many individuals with peanut allergies worry about being able to properly respond to an allergic reaction, especially a severe one. 
  • 85% reported “significant” indirect costs associated with everyday activities.

We’ll break down peanut allergy facts, what the findings from the APPEAL-1 study reveal about living with a peanut allergy, and steps parents can take to help prevent their babies from developing a peanut allergy in the future. 

Peanut Allergy Overview

  • Peanut allergy is one of the top three food allergies in children (only milk and egg allergies are more common).
  • Peanut allergy affects up to 2% of children.
  • Peanut allergy is often lifelong. Only 20% of children “outgrow” a peanut allergy later in life.
  • Peanut allergies more commonly cause severe and life-threatening allergic reactions, compared to allergies to other foods. 

APPEAL-1 Study  

The APPEAL-1 study surveyed people with peanut allergies and their caregivers. It involved people of all ages (children, teens, adults) living in several European countries. 

The survey was conducted in two parts. 

  • One part dealt with managing peanut allergy reactions, as well as peanut allergy symptoms.
  • The other part examined peanut allergies’ impact on quality of life (including social events, bullying, and freedom of choice). It also examined emotions associated with peanut allergies. 

APPEAL-1 Findings

Peanut Allergies and Related Conditions 

Out of 1300 people with peanut allergies:

  • Half said they also had asthma.
  • 79% said they also had another food allergy, in addition to their peanut allergy.

Peanut Allergy Reactions: Severe Symptoms

Out of 1300 people with peanut allergies:

  • 45% said that their worst peanut allergy reactions were severe.
  • 87.4% said they experienced multiple symptoms during their worst allergic reactions. 

The most common symptoms people experienced during their worst reactions were:

  • Swelling of lips, eyes, and/or tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Itching in the mouth
  • Tightness of the throat 
  • Symptoms in the stomach and intestine, like vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps, were also fairly common. 

Peanut Allergy Reactions: Management

Out of 1300 people with peanut allergies:

  • 31% needed an Epi-Pen injection and hospital stay to treat their worst reaction. 
    • Broken down by age, 35% of children, 42% of teenagers, and 26% of adults needed the Epi-Pen and hospital treatment for a peanut allergy reaction.

35% of children needed an Epi-Pen and hospital treatment for a peanut allergy reaction 

  • Even so, only 24% were trained on what to do in a food allergy emergency. 
  • Of the people who had an Epi-Pen, only one-third were trained on how to use it. 
  • And over 25% of all the people surveyed were never prescribed an Epi-Pen at all. 

So, at least part of the worry peanut allergies cause often comes from not being confident about how to properly respond to a food allergy emergency. Knowing how to identify an allergic reaction, and what to do if one occurs, is crucial. 

Peanut Allergies, Stress, and Worry

People with peanut allergies constantly fear being exposed to peanuts and having an allergic reaction. So, peanut allergies are a source of stress and worry, and they often cause anxiety. 

Out of 1846 people with peanut allergies and their caregivers:

  • 90% said their peanut allergy made them frustrated and stressed.
  • Over a third said they were frequently anxious. 
  •  54% even worry about exposure to peanuts during social occasions that don’t involve food.
90% of people with peanut allergies said their allergy made them frustrated and stressed

      Peanut Allergies and Social Limitations

      Peanut allergies impact people’s ability to enjoy social events and everyday activities, like birthdays, holidays, restaurant visits, and socializing with friends.

      Out of 1846 people with peanut allergies:

      • 89% said they felt like their allergies restricted where they could eat out.
      • 84% felt limited on buying food.

      Peanut allergies also restrict other daily life choices not directly related to food.

      • 75% said peanut allergies have negatively affected their social lives.
      • 89% said peanut allergies have negatively affected special occasions (such as birthdays, holidays, and vacations). 
      • 55% said peanut allergies limited their choice of schools.
      75% said peanut allergies have negatively affected their social lives

      Peanut Allergies and Bullying

      Since peanut allergies limit and change the ways people participate in social activities, people with peanut allergies often feel isolated, and are frequently bullied.

      Out of 1846 people with peanut allergies:

      • 43% said they were bullied at least once
      • 65% said they have experienced feelings of isolation

      43% said they were bullied at least once

      Financial Burdens of Peanut Allergies

      Peanut allergies create significant financial burdens for families.

      Out of 1846 peanut allergy families:

      •  46% said living with a peanut allergy is “more expensive” or “much more expensive” than life without one. 

      Peanut allergies also create indirect costs, due to the extra time (and money) needed to plan around them. 

      • 85% reported “significant” indirect costs associated with everyday activities. 
      • 91% reported “significant” indirect costs associated with planning special events. 

      APPEAL-1 Study: Key Takeaways for Parents

      • Knowing how to identify a peanut allergy, and respond to an allergic reaction, is crucial.
      • Peanut allergies affect people’s quality of life in many significant ways. 
        • People with peanut allergies often feel stressed, anxious, and isolated.
        • Having to avoid peanuts affects people’s ability to participate in social events, including birthdays and holidays. 
        • People with peanut allergies are often bullied due to their allergies.
      • Living with peanut allergies creates financial burdens for families. 

      How can parents help prevent peanut allergies in babies?

      Fortunately, thanks to landmark clinical studies, we now know how to help prevent peanut allergies before they start. Introducing common allergy-causing foods like peanut to your baby early and often is the best way to reduce your child’s risk of developing an allergy to these foods. 

      • Introduce early: Introduce peanut starting as early as 4-6 months of age, and before your baby turns one. The earlier, the better.
      • Introduce often: Continue to feed baby peanut 2-7 times a week for at least 3-6 months. Sustaining exposure is just as important for prevention as starting early.

      Learn more about how to safely introduce allergens like peanut early and often with Ready, Set, Food!

       


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      All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.

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