The HealthNuts study of 5,300 children is the world’s first comprehensive population-based study of food allergy with an objective measurement of true food allergy. The study will enable researchers to better understand the natural history of allergic disorders including food allergy, asthma, eczema and hay fever and the risk factors for developing these conditions in the first six years of life. The study will have important implications for clinical guidelines and public health policy.

Wave 1 – data collected from whole sample (questionnaire and Skin Prick Test (SPT) at immunisation centre). Participants who recorded any SPT wheal size greater than the negative control were invited to participate in a food challenge
Wave 2 – data collected from whole sample (questionnaire only). In addition, anyone food allergic at wave 1 food challenge or who indicated the presence of new food allergy symptoms since wave 1 were offered a food challenge assessment
Wave 3 – data collected from whole sample (questionnaire and allergy assessment – Royal Children’s Hospital or home visit). In addition, anyone food allergic when last seen, had a positive SPT in wave 3 or who indicated the presence of new food allergy symptoms since last seen were considered for a food challenge (also completed additional allergy questionnaire)
Wave 4 – data collected from whole sample (questionnaire only and allergy assessment – Royal Children’s Hospital or home visit). In addition, anyone food allergic when last seen, had a positive SPT in wave 4, or who indicated the presence of new food allergy symptoms since last seen were considered for a food challenge (also completed additional allergy questionnaire).

In the below tables:
(a) – data collected for whole sample
(b) – additional data collected for clinic/food challenge subsample



Year 2007-2010 2011-2014 2011-2014 2013-2016 2013-2016 2016-2020 2016-2020 2020 2021
Wave W1 W2(a) W2(b) W3(a) W3(b) W4(a) W4(b) COVID Immune wave: Baseline COVID Immune wave: 12 mth follow-up
Age ~ 12 months 4 years 4 years 6 years 6 years 10 years 10 years 10-14 years 11-15 years
# whole sample: 5300;
food challenge: 1026
whole sample: 4289 clinic/food challenge: 540 whole sample: 3073 clinic/food challenge: 300 whole sample: 2218 clinic/food challenge: 111 Sub-sample with pre-COVID immune samples: 418 Sub-sample with pre-COVID immune samples: TBC
Identifiers
Allergies
Anthropometrics
Behavioural problems Behavioural problems Behavioural problems Behavioural problems
Birth
Cardiovascular health Cardiovascular health
Demographics
Education and childcare Education and childcare Education and childcare
Environmental exposures (toxins and allergens) Environmental exposures (toxins and allergens) Environmental exposures (toxins and allergens) Environmental exposures (toxins and allergens)
General health
Imaging
Medications and supplements Medications and supplements Medications and supplements
Mental health
Nutrition
Physical activity and lifestyle Physical activity and lifestyle
Puberty Puberty
Relationships
Resilience and wellbeing
Respiratory health Respiratory health
Sleep Sleep Sleep
Substance use Substance use Substance use
Speech, language and literacy
Sun exposure
Temperament and personality
Biosamples Biosamples Biosamples
Linkage to other databases Linkage to other databases
Featured measures
Study Summary
Study name HealthNuts
Study abbreviation HealthNuts
Current principal investigator/s Dr Jennifer Koplin
Primary Institution Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s The Royal Children’s Hospital
The University of Melbourne
Major funding sources National Health and Medical Research Council
IIhan Food Allergy Foundation
AnaphylaxiStop
Australian Egg Corporation Pty.
US Department of Defense
Study website  https://www.mcri.edu.au/research/projects/healthnuts
Key reference for study (published study protocol) Osborne, N.J., Koplin, J.J., Martin, P.E., Gurrin, L.C., Thiele, L., Tang, M.L., Ponsonby, A-L., Dharmage, S.C. and Allen, K.J., for HealthNuts Study Investigators. (2010). The HealthNuts population-based study of paediatric food allergy: validity, safety and acceptability. Clin Exp Allergy,  40(10): 1516-22
Are data available to others outside study team? Yes, on request, with provision of an analysis plan and approval from investigator group.
Study focus (e.g. social development) Understanding the natural history of allergic disorders including food allergy, asthma, eczema and hay fever.
Sampling frame 12-month-old infants presenting for routine scheduled vaccination at local government-led immunisation clinics across Melbourne, Australia.
Study type (e.g. randomised control trial, cohort, case-control) Longitudinal cohort study
Year commenced 2007
Ongoing recruitment? No
Commencement sample (N) 5300
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)? No
Imaging (e.g. fMRI, ultrasound, retinal photograph)? No
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, Medicare)? School Entrant Health Questionnaire
Medicare
VPDC
Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)? Blood
Faeces
Saliva
Newborn Screening (Guthrie) card
Ethics approvals or requirements (e.g. specific, extended, unspecified, other)? This project only (Specific consent)
Future research related to this project (Extended consent)
Any future research (Unspecified consent)
Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample (not deceased, not withdrawn)
2007 – 2010 1 year (12.6 months) 5300 (whole cohort)
1026 (clinic/food challenge)
2011 – 2014 4 years 4289 (81.3%) (whole cohort)
540 (clinic/food challenge)
2013 – ongoing 6 years To be determined (ongoing) (whole cohort)
300 (clinic/food challenge)

HealthNuts Study

Gastro and Food Allergy

MCRI
Royal Children’s Hospital
Flemington Rd, Parkville
VIC 3052
Ph: +61 3 8341 6266
Email: health.nuts@mcri.edu.au