Peanuts are more likely to cause allergic reactions, and anaphylactic shock in children of African ancestry or self-reported black race than other allergens, as research on the genetic profiles of 1,104 children in Chicago, revealed a link between genetic ancestry and peanut allergy.

The research looked at ancestry by using genetic analysis, and compared that to levels of antibodies, in the children. The result of was that being of African ancestry is directly proportional to some kind of gene which produces peanut IgE - or peanut allergy:

"National studies show there are higher rates of allergic antibodies to food in African American individuals." the research said.

The risk of this peanut allergy causing anaphylaxis is very high, and one of the most common causes of 'shock' that requires treatment from an ephinephrine (adrenaline) pen injector.

"We found similar results but we also found that the proportion of one's ancestors which came from each continental group increased the risk of a person having allergic antibodies to peanut above a level which is often associated with peanut allergy,” the study found.

The research was originally published in the Pediatrics Journal.