Status of children with cow's milk allergy in infancy by 10 years of age.Acta Paediatr. 2000 Oct; 89(10):1174-80.AP
To assess the development of milk protein tolerance and atopic diseases in children diagnosed for cow's milk allergy (CMA) in infancy, we conducted re-examinations of 56 CMA subjects at the age of 10 y using 204 age-matched controls. The children underwent clinical examinations and skin prick tests (SPT), and their IgE-specific antibodies to milk and five other food allergens were determined. By the age of 10 y, all but four subjects had become tolerant to at least small amounts of milk protein. However, gastrointestinal symptoms relating to more abundant milk consumption were reported by 45% of the study subjects and 15% of the controls (p < 0.001). The incidence figures for asthma, allergic rhinitis and dermatitis, as well as the occurrence of recurrent otitis, were three to four times higher than in the controls. Positive SPTs were seen in two-thirds of the subjects, the figure being highest (83%) in those with dermatitis onset CMA. Seven subjects showed positive titres of IgE-class milk-specific antibodies, and five showed a clinical response.
This re-examination study showed that CMA in infancy, even when properly treated, has significant clinical consequences by posing special risks for respiratory atopy and persistence of atopic dermatitis as well as positive SPT and recurrent ear infections. However, each of these clinical manifestations seems to have an independent curriculum unrelated to the persistence of CMA itself.