Immune Tolerance Network   

A clinical research consortium sponsored by NIAID

Peanut Allergy

Peanut Allergy - in a Nutshell

Smiling girl eating a peanut butter sandwichPeanut allergy is often diagnosed in children less than 2 years old. In the past 1-2 decades, the number of children with peanut allergies is thought to have nearly doubled. The prevalence of peanut allergy in the US is estimated to be about 1% of children. Symptoms of food allergy can be mild to severe, with peanut being the leading cause of life threatening or fatal reactions. Peanut allergy tends to persist, and only 20% of children outgrow their disease.

What is a Peanut Allergy?

Peanut butter and peanuts on a table with a crayon drawn sign reading 'No Peanuts Allowed'A peanut allergy is a reaction that occurs when your body incorrectly identifies peanuts as an unsafe substance. When you eat peanuts or food containing peanuts, your immune system - the body's natural defense system that fights infections and diseases - overreact and can cause a serious, even life-threatening reaction. The burden of avoidance and constant fear of accidental exposure negatively impact the health-related quality of life for both patients and their families.

To learn more about Peanut Allergy, click on the link for National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).