Methods: Using case-control design, 47 infants with IgE-mediated wheat allergy and 188 gender and age matched controls were enrolled. Personal histories and associated factors were analysed.
Results: Ninety-two percent of wheat-allergic infants had symptoms on first exposure, suggested the role of sensitization intrauterine or via breast milk. Anaphylaxis occurred in 19% of subjects. Parental atopic histories and high socioeconomic status significantly increased the risk of wheat allergy. IgE-mediated wheat allergy was independently associated with maternal wheat consumption during pregnancy (bread>3 pieces per week, adjusted odds ratio, 3.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.8 to 7.5;P=0.001), and breast feeding beyond 6 months (adjusted odds ratio, 2.3; 95 % confidence interval, 1.1 to 4.8;P=0.03). Delayed wheat introduction after 6 months of age had trend toward the association with IgE positivity to wheat (adjusted odds ratio 1.8; 95 % confidence interval, 0.9 to 3.9;P=0.09).
Conclusions: Several factors during prenatal and early life period associated with the risk of IgE-mediated wheat allergy. Our findings demonstrated that genetic predisposition and socioeconomic status strongly increased risk of wheat allergy. Maternal consumption of wheat during pregnancy and prolonged breast feeding were significantly associated with the disease. Developing the strategies to prevent wheat allergy requires consideration of all these factors.