Allergy prevention.J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 2010; 8(9):718-24JD
The further increase of allergies in industrialized countries demands evidence-based measures of primary prevention. The recommendations as published in the guideline of 2004 were updated and consented on the basis of a systematic literature search. Evidence from the period February 2003-May 2008 was searched in the electronic databases Cochrane and MEDLINE as well as in reference lists of recent reviews and by contacting experts. The retrieved citations were screened for relevance first by title and abstract and in a second step as full paper. Levels of evidence were assigned to each included study and the methodological quality of the studies was assessed as high or low. Finally the revised recommendations were formally consented (nominal group process) by representatives of relevant societies and organizations including a self-help group. Of originally 4556 hits, 217 studies (4 Cochrane Reviews, 14 meta-analyses, 19 randomized controlled trials, 135 cohort and 45 case-control studies) were included and critically appraised. Grossly unchanged remained the recommendations on avoiding environmental tobacco smoke, breast-feeding over 4 months (alternatively hypoallergenic formulas for children at risk), avoiding a mold-promoting indoor climate, vaccination according to current recommendations, and avoidance of furry pets (especially cats) in children at risk. The recommendation on reducing the house dust mite allergen exposure as a measure of primary prevention was omitted and the impact of a delayed introduction of supplementary food was reduced. New recommendations were adopted concerning fish consumption (during pregnancy / breast-feeding and as supplementary food in the first year), avoidance of overweight, and reducing the exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants. The revision of this guideline on a profound evidence basis led to (1) a confirmation of existing recommendations, (2) substantial revisions, and (3) new recommendations. Thereby it is possible to give evidence-based and up-to-date recommendations on primary prevention of allergies.