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Does peanut allergy run in families?

Yes. Peanut allergy is more likely to occur when others in the family have peanut allergy or other allergic problems, such as allergic asthma, skin disease (atopic dermatitis) or allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Like most medical problems, both heredity and environment play a role. We performed a study of twins, where twins were selected if at last one had a peanut allergy. Among fraternal twins, who share about half of their genes and have similar environments, 7% shared the allergy. This was higher than the general rate of peanut allergy in the population (1-2%), and similar to other studies of siblings (not twins) with peanut allergy. Among identical twins, who share the same genes, 66% shared peanut allergy, showing that environment also clearly plays a role.

Peanut allergies, like most types of allergies, tend to run in families. That means that if your parents have had a peanut allergy, you're much more likely to develop the condition, too. However, it's not just a history of peanut allergy that increases your chances. If a parent has had other food allergies, allergic asthma, or seasonal allergies, your risk for developing a peanut allergy may be increased.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.