Use of Specialized Infant Formula for Cow’s Milk Allergy | Health
THURSDAY, July 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — At the start of the 21st century, prescriptions for specialist preparations for cow’s milk allergy rose in England, Norway and Australia, and exceeded expected levels, a study finds. published online July 7 in Clinical and experimental allergy.
Shriya Mehta of Imperial College London and her colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of national prescription databases in the UK, Norway and Australia to examine trends in specialist formulations.
Researchers found that between 2007 and 2018, prescribed volumes of specialist infant formula increased 2.8 times in England, with similar trends seen in other parts of the UK. From 2009 to 2020, volumes increased 2.2 times in Norway, while from 2001 to 2012 volumes increased 3.2 times in Australia. In 2020, total volumes were 9.7 to 12.6 times larger, 8.3 to 15.6 times larger and 3.3 to 4.5 times larger than expected in England, Norway and in Australia, respectively; in Australia, prescribing restrictions were introduced in 2012. From 2009 to 2020, the proportion of infants prescribed specialist formula rose from 2.2 to 6.9% in Norway, from 11.2 to 13 .3 times more than expected. In 2020, specialist infant formula cost $117, $93 and $27 per birth in England, Norway and Australia respectively. Thirty to 50% of the specialized formula prescribed in the three countries in 2020 was an amino acid formula.
“The data show a significant change in early childhood nutrition, which is likely to increase the consumption of free sugars in the early years and may promote the development of non-communicable diseases,” write the authors.
One author disclosed financial ties to the food allergy industry; a second author has served as an expert witness in cases involving food anaphylaxis and a disputed health claim for infant formula.