New NICE Guidelines - All Children and Young People With Suspected Food Allergy Should be Offered an Allergy Test

By Phadia, PRNE
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UPPSALA, Sweden, February 23, 2011 - The first guidelines for food allergy in children and young people issued
by NICE, National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence, recommend
routine use of allergy tests in NHS primary care and community settings to
confirm suspected food allergy. These new evidence-based guidelines support
earlier diagnosis and assessment of food allergy and states that testing is
cost effective compared to not testing.

(Logo: )

    - "The new Guidelines provides important evidence-based recommendations
      that will if implemented help dramatically to improve the care of the
      many children and young people with allergy," says Professor Aziz
      Sheikh, Head of The University of Edinburgh's Allergy & Respiratory
      Research Group and the Royal College of General Practitioners Clinical
      Champion for Allergy.

Food has been recognised as a major paediatric health problem in western
countries because of the potential severity of reactions and the dramatic
increase in prevalence

Food allergy can cause severe allergic reactions and even death from food
induced anaphylaxis. Patients with coexisting asthma often have the most
severe reactions leading to intensive care unit visits. There is currently no
other treatment than avoiding the food that causes the allergy and treating
the symptoms associated with severe reactions. The prevalence of food allergy
in Europe and North America, range from 6% to 8% in children up to the age of
3 years.

NICE recommends that all children and young people with suspected
IgE-mediated allergy should be offered an allergy test, such as a blood test,
e.g. ImmunoCAP, or a skin prick test. Medical history alone is not sufficient
to make a diagnosis of food allergy. An allergy test can help define the
underlying cause of an allergic reaction, confirm or rule out food allergy
and thus avoid unnecessary treatment or dietary restrictions. Food avoidance
affects quality of life and can place patients at significant risk for
nutritional deficiencies and growth deficit and should be avoided if
possible, especially in children and young people. NICE states that a blood
test and skin prick test are equally cost-effective compared to no test.

NICE guidelines recommend that skin prick test only should be done where
there are facilities to deal with an anaphylactic reaction as skin prick test
may provoke this reaction. NICE also states that healthcare professionals
undertaking such tests should be competent and aware of the potential risks
associated with these tests.

    - "We welcome these clear guidelines on diagnosing food allergy in
      primary care. Children and young people with suspected food allergy
      will get an accurate and timely diagnosis using the correct test for
      their condition. This is very important since food allergy is a serious
      condition which can cause significant anxiety in families, but which is
      manageable with the right diagnosis," says Mandy East from the National
      Allergy Strategy Group.

A blood test is easy, uncomplicated, safe and reliable. Unlike skin prick
testing, it can be done irrespective of a patient's age, skin condition,
pregnancy, medication, symptoms and disease activity. In addition it may
provide more detailed information on the origin of the allergy.

    - "It is of great value for children and young people with suspected food
      allergy that NICE guidelines recommend performing an allergy test, such
      as ImmunoCAP blood test. A blood test will help physicians to confirm
      or rule out allergy and consequently avoid unnecessary treatment or
      dietary restrictions. We are pleased that several food allergy
      guidelines recommend blood tests in the diagnosis of food allergy,"
      says Jean Forcione, Chief Operating Officer Phadia AB.

NIH food allergy guidelines from December 2010 recognized the superior
clinical value of ImmunoCAP. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical
Immunology, EAACI, has also announced that it will develop guidelines for the
diagnosis and management of food allergies.

About Phadia

Phadia AB develops, manufactures and markets complete blood test system
to support the clinical diagnosis and monitoring of allergy, asthma, and
autoimmune disease. Our mission is to dramatically improve the management of
allergy, asthma and autoimmune diseases by providing healthcare professionals
with superior diagnostic technologies and clinical expertise. We supply more
than 7 out of 10 allergy laboratory tests worldwide and 4 out of 10
autoimmunity tests to laboratories throughout Europe.

For more information on the new NICE guidelines, please go to:

For more information on Phadia or ImmunoCAP, please visit

    Media contact:
    Ulf Bladin
    Vice President Marketing, Corporate Communication, Scientific Affairs
    Tel: +46-18-16-50-00


Media contact: Ulf Bladin, Vice President Marketing, Corporate Communication, Scientific Affairs, Tel: +46-18-16-50-00, Email: ulf.bladin at

will not be displayed