Breaking News
December 19, 2018 - World-first coeliac disease vaccine enters Phase 2 trials
December 19, 2018 - RNA sequencing offers novel insights into the microbiome
December 19, 2018 - A promising, effective vaccine for common respiratory disease
December 19, 2018 - Protein may slow progression of emphysema, study finds
December 19, 2018 - Studying atrial fibrillation — and exploring new frontiers in precision health
December 19, 2018 - A New Way To Get College Students Through A Psychiatric Crisis — And Back To School
December 19, 2018 - Optum, UnitedHealthcare take action to help people affected by North Carolina winter storms
December 18, 2018 - Weight change in middle-aged, elderly Chinese Singaporeans related to increased risk of death
December 18, 2018 - Immune cells sacrifice themselves to protect us from invading bacteria
December 18, 2018 - Watching brain cells fire, with a twist of gravitational waves
December 18, 2018 - 2018 in Review
December 18, 2018 - Getting the Most Out of the CLARITY Technique
December 18, 2018 - NVF shoes provide a viable option for track and road racing
December 18, 2018 - CRISPR may restore effectiveness of chemotherapies used to treat lung cancer
December 18, 2018 - New app accurately measures and charts progression of skin wounds
December 18, 2018 - Persistent Discrimination ID’d Among Physician Mothers
December 18, 2018 - Cellphone technology developed to detect HIV
December 18, 2018 - A Stanford doctor hits the field with the 49ers — as their airway management physician
December 18, 2018 - The Rise of Anxiety Baking
December 18, 2018 - Just one night of sleep deprivation increases the urge to eat
December 18, 2018 - Study reveals mechanism behind failed remyelination in MS
December 18, 2018 - New genetic testing method increases the precision of biomarker analysis
December 18, 2018 - Simple technique to effectively treat underdiagnosed cause of debilitating chest pain
December 18, 2018 - Barbershop-based medical intervention can successfully lower blood pressure, new data shows
December 18, 2018 - Food labels have caused changes in consumers’ intake and industry’s use of key additives
December 18, 2018 - Sickest children could benefit from split liver transplants
December 18, 2018 - Scientists create patient-specific model to identify most effective treatment for appendix cancer
December 18, 2018 - ‘Little Foot’ endocast reveals a small brain combining ape-like and human-like features
December 18, 2018 - New therapy for childhood blindness shows ‘very promising’ results
December 18, 2018 - Researchers discover promising new compound against Buruli ulcer
December 18, 2018 - Study finds significant use of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa
December 18, 2018 - California Farm Implicated in Outbreak of E. coli Tied to Romaine Lettuce
December 18, 2018 - Mobile health has power to transform HIV/AIDS nursing
December 18, 2018 - Celiac Vaccine in Clinical Trials at Columbia
December 18, 2018 - Research into mental health first aid prompts practical guidance and resources for workplace
December 18, 2018 - Researcher conducts study to investigate peripheral blood markers of Alzheimer’s disease
December 18, 2018 - Researchers identify link between mucus in the small airways and pulmonary fibrosis
December 18, 2018 - EU Commission’s Health Policy Platform to host EKHA program on transplantation
December 18, 2018 - Survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma have high risk of developing solid tumors
December 18, 2018 - Small changes to cafeteria design can get kids to eat healthier, new assessment tool finds
December 18, 2018 - From Machines to Cyclic Compounds
December 18, 2018 - New study reveals best assessment tools to establish delirium severity
December 18, 2018 - Rice University scientists develop synthetic protein switches to control electron flow
December 18, 2018 - Home-based pulmonary function monitoring for teens with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
December 18, 2018 - Researchers identify potential target for new breast cancer treatments
December 18, 2018 - National Biofilms Innovation Centre award grant to Neem Biotech for novel anti-biofilm drug development
December 18, 2018 - Artificial intelligence and the future of medicine
December 18, 2018 - Montana State doctoral student receives grant for her work to improve neuroscience tool
December 18, 2018 - Early postpartum initiation of opioids associated with persistent use
December 18, 2018 - Russian scientists identify molecular ‘switch’ that could be target for treatment of allergic asthma
December 18, 2018 - Surgeons make more mistakes in the operating room during stressful moments, shows study
December 18, 2018 - Immune cells explode themselves to inform about the danger of invading bacteria
December 18, 2018 - Malnutrition in children with Crohn’s disease linked with increased risk of surgical complications
December 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Motegrity (prucalopride) for Adults with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)
December 18, 2018 - The long and short of CDK12
December 18, 2018 - Hologic’s Cynosure division introduces TempSure Surgical RF technology in North America
December 18, 2018 - CMR Surgical partners with Nicholson Center to launch U.S.-based training program for Versius
December 18, 2018 - Findings reinforce guidelines for cautious use of antipsychotics in younger populations
December 18, 2018 - Study finds new strains of hepatitis C virus in sub-Saharan Africa
December 18, 2018 - New battery-free, implantable device aids weight loss
December 18, 2018 - Parental alcohol use disorder associated with offspring marital outcomes
December 18, 2018 - Novel Breast Imaging Technique Might Cut Unnecessary Biopsies
December 18, 2018 - What can a snowflake teach us about how cancer spreads in the body?
December 18, 2018 - Management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy costs the NHS more than previously thought
December 18, 2018 - Green leafy vegetables may reduce risk of developing liver steatosis
December 18, 2018 - Veganism linked to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition if not planned correctly
December 18, 2018 - Coming Soon: A Tiny Robot You Swallow to Help You Stay Healthy
December 18, 2018 - Modified malaria drug proven effective at inhibiting Ebola
December 18, 2018 - Study finds epigenetic differences in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia
December 18, 2018 - Fitness instructors’ motivational comments influence women’s body satisfaction
December 18, 2018 - Study focuses on modification of lipid nanoparticles for successful brain cell targeting
December 18, 2018 - New gut bacteria may be effective against obesity, metabolic and mental disorders
December 18, 2018 - New two-in-one powder aerosol to upgrade fight against deadly superbugs in lungs
December 18, 2018 - Biofilms feed with swirling flows
December 17, 2018 - Study identifies specific neurological changes related to traumatic brain injury
December 17, 2018 - New study confirms geographic bias in lung allocation for transplant
December 17, 2018 - Research focuses on optimization of solid lipid nanoparticle that encapsulates Vinorelbine bitartrate
December 17, 2018 - Carpal tunnel syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
December 17, 2018 - A novel insulin accelerant
December 17, 2018 - Tips for caring for patients with disabilities, from a mother and physician
Infant milk allergy is being overdiagnosed say experts

Infant milk allergy is being overdiagnosed say experts

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

There are a large number of babies who are diagnosed with milk allergy and are being supplemented with lactose free infant milk formula. Experts have claimed that this over diagnosis could be due to the influences of the formula industry. The results of the investigation titled, “Over diagnosis and industry influence: how cow’s milk protein allergy is extending the reach of infant formula manufacturers,” was published in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal.

Image Credit: Patrik Jech / Shutterstock

Image Credit: Patrik Jech / Shutterstock

The researchers write that there has been a six fold rise in diagnoses of infant formula allergies over the past one decade. They have warned that it is not possible that so many more babies are developing “cow’s milk allergies” over this short period of time. The team explains that the guidelines that dictate the ways how milk allergy is diagnosed among babies is also influences by the manufacturers of formula feed for babies. There are industry-funded bodies that run the allergy training sessions and CMEs for doctors as well as health care professionals. This is leading to irrational and unnecessary proscription of the these non-allergenic formula.

One of the major problems with this is the mistaken belief that breast milk could be allergenic to the baby and this may discourage breastfeeding. Dr Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the BMJ, said, “The growth in prevalence of cows’ milk protein allergy [CMPA] has all the hallmarks of over diagnosis fuelled by commercial interests. We need tighter diagnostic criteria and guidelines drawn up by experts who are free from financial conflicts of interest.” The report shows that between 2000 and 2016 there has been a rise from 105,000 to more than 600,000 annually in prescriptions for specialist formula milks prescribed to those who are allergic to regular milk. The report adds that the NHS was spending £8.1million on these specialist formula and is now spending to more than £60 million annually on these preparations.

Nigel Rollins, of the World Health Organisations’ department of maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health in a statement said, “It’s reasonable to question whether these increases reflect a true increase in prevalence.” Dr Chris van Tulleken, lead author of this study and honorary senior lecturer, University College London Hospital said, “The extensive links between the formula industry and the research, guidelines, medical education, and public awareness efforts around CMPA have raised the question of industry-driven over diagnosis.” He pointed out that in the board of NICE (NHS body for guidelines development) that drew up the allergy guidelines, 5 of the 11 had declared their associations with the infant formula industry. Further the international guidelines released in 2007 and 2010 were sponsored by formula manufacturers. The five authors of the 2013 Milk Allergy in Primary Care guidance had conflicts of interest. This is unacceptable, he said.

Dr van Tulleken wrote in the article, “The Allergy Academy, which is sponsored by three infant formula manufacturers, delivers courses on Guy’s and St Thomas’ premises [in London]. These are described by the trust as private ‘evidence-based training days for healthcare professionals.” He referred to these specialists formulas as “Trojan horses” saying that companies use these to market their other baby formulas via doctors which are normally banned from marketing. He wrote, “The belief that specialist formulas are exempt from the code may be enabling manufacturers to justify this network of links with clinicians and institutions to pursue a wider agenda.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also believes that this trend could have an adverse effect on breastfeeding. Larry Grummer Strawn, a technical officer at WHO, in a statement said, “The influence that the formula industry has on young health professionals is likely an important reason for the lukewarm support for breastfeeding that we often encounter.”

Declan O’Brien, director general of the British Specialist Nutrition Association, whose members include Danone Nutricia, Mead Johnson and Nestlé in a statement defending the charges said, “We recognise the need to put in place policies to ensure that potential conflicts of interest can be managed and avoided. The measures in the Infant Formula Industry Code are in line with the WHO Code, UK regulations, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry code and General Medical Council guidance.”

Source:

https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5056

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles