LONDON, February 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The first guideline for food allergy in children and young people issued by the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends the routine use of allergy testing by Specific IgE blood tests or, if the facilities exist, skin prick testing in NHS primary care and community settings to confirm suspected food allergy.

This new evidence-based guideline supports earlier diagnosis and assessment of food allergy and states that testing is cost effective compared to not testing.

NICE recommends that all patients with suspected IgE-mediated allergy should be offered, in conjunction with a medical history, an allergy-test such as the Specific IgE blood test, ImmunoCAP, from Phadia.

A medical history alone is not sufficient to make a diagnosis of food allergy. A blood test can help define the underlying cause of an allergic reaction and help prevent unnecessary food avoidance which affects quality of life and can place children at significant risk for nutritional deficiencies and growth deficit.

Mandy East from the National Allergy Strategy Group said, "We welcome this clear guideline on diagnosing food allergy in primary care.

"Children and young people with suspected food allergy will get an accurate and timely diagnosis using the correct test for their condition. This is very important since food allergy is a serious condition which can cause significant anxiety in families, but which is manageable with the right diagnosis."

Food allergies are amongst the most common allergic disorders and are recognised as a major paediatric health problem in western countries.

Reactions can be extremely severe; hospital admissions in the UK for food allergies have increased by 500% since 1990.

Phadia, a company long associated with allergy diagnosis, is supporting the NICE guideline by piloting a programme to reach over 60% of GPs with information on ways to identify and diagnose food allergies through an innovative e-learning and web resource, together with UK-wide practical allergy workshops for primary care practitioners.

Ken Maclachlan, Country Manager, Phadia UK and Ireland explains, "Phadia aims to improve the uptake of the new guideline in Primary Care by increasing the levels of awareness amongst GPs on how simple Specific IgE tests are to use and interpret.

"Through diagnosing children with IgE mediated allergy, treatment and referral pathways will be optimised and the quality of life improved for many children with food allergies."

Phadia AB develops, manufactures and markets complete blood test systems to support the clinical diagnosis and monitoring of allergy and autoimmune diseases.

We supply more than 7 out of 10 allergy laboratory tests worldwide and 4 out of 10 autoimmunity tests to laboratories throughout Europe.

For more information on the new NICE guidelines,

For more information on Phadia

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