Aimmune study shows the practical and emotional impact of living with peanut allergy

Aimmune study shows the practical and emotional impact of living with peanut allergy

  • 08 February 2022
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Aimmune Announces Publication of UK and Ireland Findings from the APPEAL Study Highlighting the Practical and Emotional Impact of Living with Peanut Allergy

– Largest study to date to probe the impact of peanut allergy on allergic individuals and their caregivers in the UK and Ireland –
– Study reveals the impact of peanut allergy across all aspects of daily life, including its effect on relationships, experiences of bullying, persistent stress, and anxiety –
Peanut allergy affects between 0.5-2.5% of children in the UK[1]

 London, UK — February 8, 2022 — Aimmune Therapeutics UK Ltd. today announced the publication of UK and Ireland country data from the APPEAL (Allergy to Peanuts ImPacting Emotions And Life) study which have been published in PLOS ONE. APPEAL is the largest European study to date, focused on the emotional and psychosocial impact of peanut allergy, and was created through a collaboration of allergy specialists and representatives of patient advocacy groups from eight European countries.[2],[3] It was conducted in two phases (APPEAL-1 and APPEAL-2) with over 300 individuals in the UK and Ireland taking part.[4]

The APPEAL study examined the influence and psychosocial burden of living with peanut allergy experienced by allergic individuals and their caregivers. The results demonstrate the wide-ranging practical and emotional impact of peanut allergy on the lives of children, teenagers, adults, and their caregivers, and highlight a significant need to improve education, care, and management for these individuals.

“Our research shows that most people in the studies with peanut allergy face an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty, stress and anxiety in their day-to-day lives, even in daily activities that are meant to be relaxing and fun, with only a third feeling that they cope “extremely well” managing their allergy. Most shockingly, children are reluctant to tell other people about their peanut allergy in fear of being bullied or to avoid embarrassment,” said Marina Tsoumani, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, and lead author of the publication. “These data indicate an urgent need for greater support and education to ensure those with peanut allergy feel confident their condition is managed, and both their risk of anaphylaxis and fear of bullying is minimised, if not eliminated.”

We know all too well that peanut allergy is incredibly challenging and fearful for most children and teenagers. Now, we’re also learning about the detrimental impact on parents and caregivers in the UK and Ireland, with over half in this study reporting feeling constant stress because of their child’s peanut allergy, as well as experiencing damaging effects on their relationship with their partner,” said Amena Warner, Allergy UK, and one of the authors of the publication. “The new data provides invaluable insights into both the peanut allergic individual and caregiver experience and presents a clear signpost for clinicians and policymakers to address the impact of peanut allergy.

Key findings include:

  • Due to living with peanut allergy, the majority of patients and caregivers experience levels of uncertainty (79%), stress (71%) and feeling anxious (75%). More than a third even reported feeling worried in situations that don’t involve food (35%).
  • Among children and teenagers, just over half reported experiencing bullying or teasing because of their peanut allergy (52% of survey participants).
  • Over a fifth of patients and caregivers reported feelings of isolation (22%) and 28% have been made to feel different because of their or their child’s peanut allergy.
  • All adult, teenage and caregiver respondents, and over half of the children interviewed reported a negative impact of peanut allergy on their social activities. Restricted choices were reported in various situations, including choosing where to eat out (82%), special occasions (76%), and when choosing a holiday destination (68%).
  • More than half of the caregivers reported an adverse impact on their relationship with their partner, mainly due to the stress around paying enough attention to avoiding peanuts.

The study also uncovers that despite the majority of those with a peanut allergy adopting various coping strategies and had been prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector for emergency use, only 37% reported that they cope “extremely well” with their peanut allergy. Respondents’ coping strategies to avoid accidental exposure to peanuts in their everyday lives include checking ingredients, constantly paying attention to what others are eating, staying away from other people if they are eating peanuts, and asking other people to wash their hands after eating peanuts.

“Peanut allergy is often lifelong and, as these data from the UK and Ireland show, can be very difficult for children, their parents or caregivers,” said Simon Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Anaphylaxis Campaign, a UK-wide charity for people at risk of severe allergies. “This study clearly indicates that the whole family is impacted, not only from the stress and anxiety of peanut allergy itself, but also from restrictions on social activities and even the potential for bullying and harassment. These findings reinforce our understanding of the substantial burden that peanut allergy has on young people and their families and highlight the importance of having new treatment options and ongoing advice and support available for those living with this condition.”


About the APPEAL-1 and APPEAL-2 Studies

The APPEAL (Allergy to Peanuts ImPacting Emotions And Life) studies are the first pan-European quantitative and qualitative, cross-sectional surveys to explore the burden and psychosocial impact of living with peanut allergy. The results from the UK and Ireland include findings from a total of 284 adults (187 caregivers and 97 adults with peanut allergy) who participated in APPEAL-1 and 42 individuals (11 adults, 11 teenagers and 8 children with peanut allergy and 12 caregivers of a child with peanut allergy) participated in APPEAL-2.

About Peanut Allergy

In the UK, peanut allergy affects between 0.5-2.5% of children.1 Unlike other common food allergies, peanut allergy can be lifelong.[5] Reactions to peanut are potentially life-threatening, accounting for the majority of deaths related to food allergy.[6] The standard of care has been a strict elimination diet and the timely administration of rescue medications in case of an allergic reaction from accidental exposure.[7] Despite vigilance, accidental exposures may occur and cause reactions of unpredictable severity, leading to a lifelong risk of severe reactions.4 Beyond the physical impact of peanut allergy, this condition also has a significant psychosocial impact on children, their families and caregivers. Those living with peanut allergy face many uncertainties and restrictions, in addition to constant feelings of fear, frustration, anxiety and stress in their daily lives.2



UK Media:

Jemini Sedani

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[1] Stiefel, G., Anagnostou, K., Boyle, R.J., et al. 2017. BSACI Guideline for the Diagnosis and Management of Peanut and Tree Nut Allergy. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 47, pp. 719-739.

[2] DunnGalvin, A., et al. APPEAL-1: A multiple-country European survey assessing the psychosocial impact of peanut allergy. Allergy. 2020 Nov;75(11):2899-2908. DOI: 10.1111/all.14363. Epub 2020 Jul 9.PMID: 32400915

[3] Blumchen, K, et al. APPEAL-1: A pan-European survey of patient/caregiver perceptions of peanut allergy management. Allergy. 2020 May; 75(11):2920-2935. DOI: 10.1111/all.14414. Epub 2020 Jun 24.. PMID: 32438514

[4] Tsoumani M, et al. (2022) Allergy to Peanuts imPacting Emotions And Life (APPEAL): The impact of peanut allergy on children, teenagers, adults and caregivers in the UK and Ireland. PLoS ONE 17(2): e0262851.

[5] Du Toit G, Katz Y, Sasieni P, Mesher D, Maleki SJ, Fisher HR, Fox AT, Turcanu V, Amir T, Zadik-Mnuhin G, Cohen A, Livne I, Lack G. Early consumption of peanuts in infancy is associated with a low prevalence of peanut allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Nov;122(5):984-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.08.039. PMID: 19000582.

6 Bock SA, Muñoz-Furlong A, Sampson HA. Fatalities due to anaphylactic reaction to foods. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001;107:191-

7 Lanser, Bruce J., et al. “Current options for the treatment of food allergy.” Pediatric Clinics 62.6 (2015): 1531-1549.