According to a world-first study, having a food allergy as a baby is connected to asthma and impaired lung function later in childhood.

The research, led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and published in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, found that early life food allergy was associated with an increased risk of both asthma and reduced lung growth at six years of age. Murdoch Children’s Associate Professor Rachel Peters said this was the first study to examine the relationship between challenge-confirmed food allergy in infancy and asthma and poorer lung health later in childhood.

The Melbourne research involved 5,276 infants from the HealthNuts study, who underwent skin prick testing to common food allergens, including peanut and egg and oral food challenges to test for food allergy. At six years, children were followed up with further food allergy and lung function tests.

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