Gastrointestinal allergy has been said to be a rare cause of colic in infancy. We had been impressed by the family history of allergy elicited in many cases. Frequent occurrence in colicky babies of stools containing mucus, eosinophils, and sometimes blood, was also noted. The Nance method of staining stool mucus for eosinophils was used. A point was made of inquiring concerning hay fever, allergic asthma, perennial allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, frequent and severe sinusitis and migraine headache, in the mother, father, siblings, grandfathers, uncles, aunts and first cousins. This has been done in the case of all newborns.
The following data were accumulated from newborns whom we treated throughout the course of their complaint.
We found 367 colicky infants among 611 who came from allergic families, an incidence of 60.1 per cent; among 296 infants from non-allergic families, 74 had colic, an incidence of 25 per cent. Where the father and mother both suffered from major manifestations of allergy, out of 55 infants, 43 had colic, an incidence of 78.2 per cent.
A total of 814 infants had 308 colicky babies among them, an incidence of 36.1 pen cent in our practice. These data were gathered because we could find none in the literature answering the basic question of the incidence of colic in private pediatric practice. A broad cross-section of social classes and nationalities found in a metropolitan area were included. The over-all incidence of 36.1 per cent was a surprise to us. The incidence of 60.1 per cent of colic found in allergic families was impressive.
- Copyright © 1956 by the American Academy of Pediatrics