Nearly one-fifth of adults in the United States believe they have a food allergy, and more than 26 million are food allergic, according to a new cross-sectional survey study.
The researchers contacted U.S. adults by phone or internet between Oct. 9, 2015, and Sept. 18, 2016. Primary outcomes included self-reported food allergies, diagnosis history to specific allergens, and food allergy-related health care use. Credibility of self-reported food allergies was determined based on how allergen-specific symptoms correlated with immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated reactions. Researchers found participants from NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel and the non–probability-based Survey Sampling International (SSI) panel.
Death from #foodallergy is every patient and parent's biggest fear and worst nightmare. Thankfully, these tragedies are very rare.
When they do occur, there is rightful concern and attention from media and those in the food allergy community.
See thread for deep discussion ⬇️
— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) January 3, 2019
A total of 40,443 adults (mean age 46.6 years) completed the survey, including just over half (51.2%) of the AmeriSpeak panelists (n = 7,210) and 5.5% of the SSI panelists (n = 33,233). Among the total participants, more than a fifth (10.8%; 95% CI, 10.4%-11.1%) had a convincing food allergy, while nearly two-fifths (19%; 95% CI, 18.5%-19.5%) had a self-reported food allergy. The most frequently reported allergies were shellfish (2.9%; 95% CI, 2.7%-3.1%), milk (1.9%; 95% CI, 1.8%-2.1%), peanut (1.8%; 95% CI, 1.7%-1.9%), tree nut (1.2%; 95% CI, 1.1%-1.3%), and fin fish (0.9%; 95% CI, 0.8%-1.0%). More than half (51.1%; 95% CI, 49.3%-52.9%) of food-allergic adults experienced a severe food allergy reaction, just under half (48%; 95% CI, 46.2%-49.7%) developed their allergies during adulthood, and 45.3% (95% CI, 43.6%-47.1%) had several allergies. About a quarter (24%; 95% CI, 22.6%-25.4%) of participants had a current epinephrine prescription; 38.3% (95% CI, 36.7%-40.0%) had been to the emergency department at least once due to a food allergy.
Over 10% of adults in the U.S. – over 26 million – are estimated to have #foodallergy, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open that was led by @ruchisgupta https://t.co/O2klu2Cj2C. #research #all4your1
— Lurie Children's (@LurieChildrens) January 4, 2019
“Overall, approximately half of all food-allergic adults developed at least 1 adult-onset allergy, suggesting that adult-onset allergy is common in the United States among adults of all ages, to a wide variety of allergens, and among adults with and without additional, childhood-onset allergies,” the researchers concluded.
New prevalence study by @ruchisgupta (relevant!): "Researchers estimated that 10.8 percent of American adults — or more than 26 million people — have an #allergy to one or more foods. Another 21 million think they have a #foodallergy but do not."https://t.co/kw096f2HVH
— Stacey Sturner (@FAtreatmenttalk) January 4, 2019