Cashews cause stronger reaction than peanuts

A new study at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital matched 47 children whose worst ever reaction was to cashew nut with 94 children whose worst ever reaction was to peanut. (The comparison matched the children according to sex, age of reaction and presentation, amount ingested, and asthma.)

The researchers noted that wheezing and cardiovascular symptoms were reported more often during reactions in the cashew compared to the peanut group, while those allergic to cashews also received intramuscular adrenaline more frequently. ‘Cashew nuts present a considerable hazard, being hidden in a wide variety of commonly ingested foods, such as Asian meals, sweets, ice cream, cakes and chocolates and they are increasingly used in commercially prepared pesto sauce instead of pine nuts,’ wrote lead author Andrew Clark in the journal Allergy.

Worryingly, another recent study showed that 27% of nut-allergic children were unable to correctly identify the type of nut to which they were allergic.

First published in October 2007

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