Jun 6, 2022 - COVID

COVID study's surprising finding regarding food allergies

Illustration of a coronavirus cell surrounded by hands holding magnifying glasses
Illustration: Axios Visuals

People with food allergies are less likely to get the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study co-led by a researcher at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

  • The unexpected finding emerged from a broader analysis of other factors that might influence infections.

Why it matters: The study points toward a line of research that scientists can continue to explore as they search for new ways to prevent infections.

What they're saying: VUMC professor Tina Hartert said more research is needed to understand how food allergies might lead to a lower risk of infection.

  • "It's surprising because there aren't pathways through which we considered food allergy might decrease infection risk," Hartert said in a statement.

State of play: Other findings include that obesity increases the risk of infection while asthma does not.

Between the lines: The study — which teamed VUMC with researchers at National Jewish Health in Denver and was published last week — monitored more than 4,000 people in nearly 1,400 households in 12 cities between May 2020 and February 2021.

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