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.

Continue Learning about Food Allergies & Food Intolerance

Are Your Food Allergies Real?
Are Your Food Allergies Real?
Many parents refused to take their children to see last year’s film Peter Rabbit. The movie includes a scene in which Peter and a gang of bunnies use ...
Read More
How should schools manage their students' food allergies?
Sarah WordenSarah Worden
Schools must carefully manage allergies to protect the safety of students. The best practice for thi...
More Answers
Can I eat non-dairy foods if I have a milk allergy?
Marisa MooreMarisa Moore
If you have a milk allergy, you still have to be careful with "non-dairy" foods. These foods often c...
More Answers
How Can a Food Sensitivity to Corn Mimic Gluten Sensitivity in the Body?
How Can a Food Sensitivity to Corn Mimic Gluten Sensitivity in the Body?

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.