European Study Shows Significant Psychosocial Burden Associated with Peanut Allergy


Data from a new study on the psychosocial burden of peanut allergy in European countries was presented at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) Congress 2018 in Munich.

The APPEAL (Allergy to Peanuts Impacting Emotions and Life) study is a multi-dimensional, multi-phase effort, led by Aimmune Therapeutics in partnership with an expert panel of European food allergy patient advocacy group leaders and healthcare professionals (psychologist, dietician and allergists), to learn about the psychosocial burden of peanut allergy.

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In a quantitative online survey conducted in eight European countries, the APPEAL study examined the impact of peanut allergy on peanut-allergic children (as reported by a parent or caregiver), parents and caregivers of peanut-allergic children, and peanut-allergic adults. The survey results showed that peanut allergy has a daily impact on more than 80% of those children, parents/caregivers and adults, and 40% live with a high level of uncertainty. Additionally, 77% of peanut-allergic individuals have been made to feel different (negatively), and 43% have been affected by bullying.

The survey also revealed the increased level of anxiety people affected by peanut allergy experience in situations involving food. In food contexts, 60% of peanut-allergic children, 71% of parents and caregivers, and 56% of peanut-allergic adults experienced anxiety. In non-food contexts, 15% of peanut-allergic children, 11% of parents and caregivers, and 12% of peanut-allergic adults experienced peanut allergy–related anxiety.

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“Peanut allergy, and the vigilance it requires around food, can impose a large psychosocial burden on affected individuals and families, but that burden can be invisible to others around them,” said Audrey DunnGalvin, PhD who presented the data. “With APPEAL, we want to help bring that burden to light and understand how it is carried among different groups — peanut-allergic children, their parents and caregivers, and peanut-allergic adults. Our group of food allergy experts and advocates is committed to raising awareness of the impact of peanut allergy to increase support for improving care and treatments.”

Author’s note: Aimmune Therapeutics is developing AR101, an oral immunotherapy candidate for the treatment of peanut allergy. The original press release was edited for length and clarity.

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