Navigation Links
Child Food Allergies on the Rise in U.S.
Date:11/16/2009

Experts unsure if growth stems from more awareness or actual increase in numbers,,,,,,

MONDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric food allergies, which can sometimes be life-threatening, are increasing at a dramatic rate in the United States, new research shows.

But the study authors aren't sure if the rise in reports of food allergies reflects an increase in actual prevalence or if better awareness has led more people to seek treatment for their symptoms.

Whatever the cause, it's clear that the number of children with food allergies has gone up 18 percent and the number seeking treatment for food allergy at emergency departments or hospitals has tripled since 1993.

"People are more aware of food allergies today, and that could have something to do with it," said study author, Amy Branum, a health statistician for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "But, when we looked at health-care surveys filled out by parents and those from the health-care sector, we saw the increase across the surveys so this may be more than just increased awareness."

Results of the study were published online Nov. 16 and will appear in the December print issue of Pediatrics.

Although many people think of allergies as more of a nuisance than a serious health issue, food allergy in particular can be very serious, even life-threatening. The most common foods that people are allergic to include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, shellfish, fish and wheat, according to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

Symptoms often appear minutes after people eat a food that they're allergic to, but it can sometimes take several hours before a reaction begins, according to the network. Typical symptoms of a food allergy include a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of the tongue or throat, trouble breathing, hives, stomach cramping, vomiting or diarrhea.

In the current study, the researchers used information from four different national data sources to assess the current rate of food allergies in the United States. The surveys included information from parents and from health-care providers, according to Branum.

The researchers found that between 1997 and 2007, the incidence of food allergy went up by 18 percent. Parents of almost 4 percent of U.S. children reported a food or digestive allergy in their child, the study authors noted.

There was also an increase in the rates of parent-reported skin allergy (eczema) during the same time period. Approximately 8.9 percent of U.S. children had experienced skin allergy in 2007, compared with 7.9 percent in 1997.

Health-care providers, on the other hand, reported that the number of children being treated for food allergies had tripled, the study found. Data from health-care providers was from 1993 to 2006.

Data included testing for immunoglobulin E, or IgE, antibodies in the blood for various foodstuffs, which can indicate an allergy. The percentage of children who tested positive for IgE antibodies for peanut allergy was 9 percent; for egg allergy, 7 percent; milk, 12 percent; and shrimp, 5 percent, the study found.

Though IgE antibodies can indicate a potential food allergy, the test is often better at ruling out who does not have an allergy, Branum said. A positive test doesn't mean that someone definitely has a food allergy, but suggests that the potential is there.

The researchers also noted that Hispanic children had the lowest overall prevalence of food allergy but the greatest increases over time of parent-reported incidences of food allergy.

"People should be aware that food allergy may really be increasing," Branum said. "If small children have symptoms when they eat a particular food, have that child checked out, particularly if they have co-occurring conditions like asthma and eczema."

"Food allergies are real," said Dr. Jennifer Appleyard, chief of allergy and immunology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit. "And it appears that the prevalence is rising."

This will present various challenges, she noted. One is that there's already a shortage of allergy specialists in many areas, Appleyard said. Another is that schools will have to gear up to take care of additional children with food allergy to ensure their safety during the school day and on field trips, she said.

Parents who suspect their child has a food allergy should first talk with the child's primary care physician about symptoms. The problem could be a food intolerance rather than an allergy, she said, but the child might need to be tested by an allergy specialist to get a definitive diagnosis.

More information

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network has more on food allergies.



SOURCES: Amy Branum, M.S.P.H., health statistician, U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Md.; Jennifer Appleyard, M.D., chief, allergy and immunology, St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit; Nov. 16, 2009, Pediatrics, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Prioritizing low-cost, simple health measures would save 2.5 million child lives a year
2. Governor Rendell Helps to Break Ground for New Childrens Hospital at Penn State Hershey
3. Global Bulletin Board Shows Promise in Child Health
4. Shire reports analysis examining emotional lability in children with ADHD taking Vyvanse
5. Shire Reports Findings From an Analysis Examining Emotional Lability in Children With ADHD Taking Vyvanse(R) (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Capsules CII
6. Congressional Health Reform Bill Falls Short on Comprehensive and Affordable Coverage for Low-Income Children
7. Ingenious Med Partners with Childrens Restoration Network for Holiday Charity
8. Science Supports the Important Role of Milk, Including Flavored Milk, in Childrens Nutrition
9. Center for Autism and Related Disorders Study Finds Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Ineffective Treatment for Children with Autism
10. Using science to save lives of mothers and children in Africa
11. Surrey College Students Collect Clothing for Women and Children
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... MN (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... A ... U.S. states with the healthiest seniors are located in the Midwest. With the average ... more and more people are concerned with both the quality and affordability of where ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... After raising nearly ... Top gadget will continue to be available at a discounted crowdfunding price on ... stress wherever they are, I also wanted to bring a fidget toy to the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Dr. Alex Rabinovich, a highly-skilled oral surgeon specializing ... blog post on insurance options. If a Bay Area patient has to search for ... and money. Visiting an in-network provider for a second opinion can ensure a patient ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... “Just What Happened in the Garden of Eden”: ... the Garden of Eden” is the creation of published author, Penelope Colt, mother, trader, horse ... family moved to NYC when she was three. At six, they moved to Dayton, ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... In modern research, success ... appropriate instruments for research and understanding the basic principles that were designed to ... on innovations in stereo microscopy for brightfield and fluorescence typically used in laboratories ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a ... big data solutions, today announced that it is teaming ... STI Technologies Limited to lower diabetes healthcare costs in ... innoviCares card, which is available throughout all provinces and ... will be eligible for additional savings when shopping for ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... 2017 A Catheterization Laboratory is an ... facility. Commonly referred to as cath lab, this ... imaging technology to give physicians visual access to ... spaces, a team of physicians perform life-saving procedures ... intervention, congenital heart defect closure, stenotic heart valves, ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... Pa. , May 3, 2017  West ... in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, announced ... Scientific Affairs and Technical Services, and Diane ... workshops and offering presentations focused on West,s expertise ... injectable products, as well as providing commentary on ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: