New Information About Food AllergiesIN NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MEDICINE
You probably already know someone with food allergies—whether that means a child in your son’s class is allergic to peanut butter or a friend you regularly invite to lunch has a reaction to shellfish. Recent research suggests certain groups may be more susceptible to food allergies than others.
Approximately 7.6 million Americans are currently living with food allergies, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The research, which was sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health, is one of the first studies of its kind—an in-depth look at how food allergies affect Americans across the age spectrum. Researchers included participants ranging from infants to senior citizens. The study is published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
If you’re wondering what interesting tidbits of information came out of the study, here are some of the findings.
- Food allergies occur most often in children under age 5.
- Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies among children.
- People with asthma may be more likely to develop food allergies.
- The lowest rates of food allergies were found in adults over age 60.
Researchers were particularly interested in the findings related to people with asthma, a condition caused by inflamed bronchial tubes. Persons with both asthma and food allergies may be seven times more susceptible to severe asthma attacks than those who only suffer from asthma.
| Allergic Reactions Explained
All food allergies aren’t created equal. Whether you or a family member is allergic to strawberries or shellfish, allergic reactions can take a variety of forms. A few of the most common ones are:
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Sources: foodallergies.org, nih.gov