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:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who ... with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, ... Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce ... program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers ... of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. ... articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic ... Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP ... that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital investment ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research ... "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical ... structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle bodies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 According to a ... (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, ... Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & ... studies the market for the forecast period of 2016 ... 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to ... the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it ... excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment ... potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing number ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: