Navigation Links
Food Allergies Common among Children and Linked to Environmental Allergies and Asthma Later in Life, Suggests Largest-Ever National Allergy Study

MADISON, N.J., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Early results from the largest cross-sectional national allergy study ever conducted, to be released later this month, demonstrate that food allergies commonly occur in infants and toddlers, while environmental allergies, such as to dust, ragweed and mold, are more common in older children and adults. The study, based on laboratory testing from more than 2 million patient visits in the United States, is the largest to reveal a pattern of allergen sensitivity consistent with the "allergy march," a medical condition by which allergies to foods in early childhood heighten the risk for the development of additional and more severe allergy-related conditions, including asthma, later in life.

The Quest Diagnostics Health Trends Report, Allergies Across America™, from Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading diagnostic testing company, also found that patients with asthma who were tested for allergies were 20% more likely to have an allergy, particularly to indoor allergens like mold and house dust mites, compared to patients tested without asthma, based on an analysis of test results showing immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitivity to certain allergens. The findings support medical guidelines recommending that clinicians and patients with asthma identify and minimize potential allergens in the home and workplace that could aggravate the disease.

"Allergy and asthma often go hand in hand, and the development of asthma is often linked to allergies in childhood via the allergy march," said study investigator Harvey W. Kaufman, M.D., senior medical director, Quest Diagnostics. "Given the growing incidence of asthma in the U.S., our study underscores the need for clinicians to evaluate and treat patients, particularly young children, suspected of having food allergies in order to minimize the prospect that more severe allergic conditions and asthma will develop with age. It also demonstrates that patients with asthma should minimize their exposure to allergens that could trigger a severe asthma response."

Allergies are one of the most common health conditions, affecting one in five Americans. A report out this month from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the prevalence of asthma is increasing, and now affects one in 12 adults and nearly one in ten children. Allergy-induced asthma is the most common type of asthma in the U.S.

Childhood Food Allergies

The Quest Diagnostics study found that children through the age of eight who were tested were most likely to experience high food allergy rates. Specifically, the study's childhood food allergy analysis found:

  • Egg White and Milk.  Thirty-seven percent of infants and toddlers tested were sensitive to egg white and 36% of three year olds were sensitive to milk.
  • Peanuts. Peanuts were the most common source of food allergy in children six to 18 years of age, affecting approximately one in four (26 %) school-aged children tested. Yet, peanut allergies were even more prevalent in children five years of age and younger, affecting about 30% of children tested in this age group.
  • Wheat. Nearly one in four (23%) children tested through the age of ten exhibited wheat allergen sensitization, although the rate declined after that age.

After the age of eight, rates of food allergies overall declined, while sensitivity to non-food allergens increased, consistent with the allergy march. Sensitivity to environmental allergens, including house dust mites, cats, dogs, and common ragweed, remained at high levels through the age of 40.

Disadvantaged Children

The investigators also compared testing rates for children with private health insurance and government-administered Medicaid plans. Children five years of age and younger enrolled in Medicaid were 18% less likely to be tested than children of the same age group covered by private health insurance, suggesting that economically disadvantaged children may be less likely to be tested at early ages. Other research demonstrates that early intervention can minimize the likelihood of progression to more severe allergic diseases, including asthma.

"Quest Diagnostics' findings provide compelling evidence that economically disadvantaged children are less likely to receive the level of health care that can promote favorable outcomes," said Gary Puckrein, Ph.D., executive director, Alliance of Minority Medical Associations, and a report advisor. "This research should prompt policy makers, physicians, and, of course, parents to consider how different types of health plans may impact the quality of the health services our children receive."

Methodology of the Quest Diagnostics Health Trends Report Allergies Across America

The Allergies Across America study is broadly representative of the overall population of patients seeking medical care for allergy-like symptoms from healthcare professionals in the U.S. It includes de-identified test results of patients from infancy to 70 years of age living in every U.S. state and the district of Columbia. The study did not track individual patients longitudinally, so age-related patterns do not necessarily imply that specific individuals developed other allergy conditions or asthma over time.  However, the pattern of allergen sensitivity observed in this study is consistent with other, but smaller cross-sectional studies.

The study was based on de-identified results of testing in Quest Diagnostics clinical laboratories using the ImmunoCAP® specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test, the "gold standard" of allergy blood tests. IgE is an antibody in blood produced by the body's immune system when an allergen is present. Each test result identified sensitization to one or more of 11 common allergens: five foods (egg white, milk, peanut, soybean, and wheat), common ragweed, mold, two types of house dust mites, and cats and dogs. While high IgE sensitization level is suggestive of an allergy, clinical diagnosis also requires medical examination and other considerations, and therefore the study did not definitively conclude patients with high sensitization were allergic to a tested allergen. A patient visit refers to any instance where an individual patient was tested at least once for one or more of the 11 allergens by Quest Diagnostics over the four-year period examined for the study.

The full Allergies Across America report to be released this month will assess the health impact of the 11 allergens on patients nationally and regionally as well as on the 30 most populous cities in the United States.  

About Quest Diagnostics Health Trends Reports

Quest Diagnostics Health Trends Reports identify and track disease and wellness benchmarks. Based on analyses of de-identified test results from the Quest Diagnostics national database – consisting of more than 1.5 billion patient encounters since January 2000 – past reports have focused on chronic kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, H1N1 (2009) Influenza A, and rotavirus. Visit

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions.  The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff.  Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative new diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care.  Additional company information is available at

Quest, Quest Diagnostics, the associated logo, Nichols Institute and all associated Quest Diagnostics marks are the registered trademarks of Quest Diagnostics. All third party marks -- ®' and ™' -- are the property of their respective owners. © 2000-2011 Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. All rights reserved.

Quest Diagnostics Contacts:
Wendy Bost (Media): 973-520-2800
Kathleen Valentine (Investors): 973-520-2900

SOURCE Quest Diagnostics
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. FDA Approves XYZAL(R) (levocetirizine dihydrochloride) Oral Solution for the Relief of Seasonal and Year Round Allergies and Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria
2. New Survey Suggests Cultural Ambivalence to Allergies Leaves Many Suffering Needlessly
3. Patients With Asthma and Seasonal Allergies Respond Better to Advair(R) for Their Asthma Than Singulair(TM)
4. Study Confirms: Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat
5. Urologist and Allergist Explore Link Between Allergies and Interstitial Cystitis
6. ISTA Pharmaceuticals Bepreve(TM) Receives FDA Approval for the Treatment of Ocular Itching Due to Allergies
7. Investigational Sublingual Allergy Immunotherapy Tablet Meets Primary Endpoint in a Study of Adult Subjects With a History of Grass Pollen Allergies
8. Circassia Extends its Clinical-Stage Portfolio With Phase II Trials of T-Cell Vaccines Against House Dust Mite and Cat Allergies
9. Tris Announces NDA Acceptance of Extended Release Carbinoxamine Oral Suspension for the Treatment of Allergies in Kids Two Years and Older
10. Less than One-Third of Patients Taking Montelukast (Singulair®) Therapy for Asthma or Allergies without Trying First-Line Medications End Up Staying on the Medication
11. Endoscopy Identified as Safe and Effective Method in Treating Common Complication of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)...  Hanger, Inc. (NYSE: HGR ) (the "Company") ... of its previously announced consent solicitation (as amended and ... principal amount 7⅛% Senior Notes due 2018 (the "Notes") ... payable pursuant to the Consent Solicitation, (ii) the proposed ... expiration date of the Consent Solicitation.    ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Novartis will demonstrate the strength of its ... American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. Presentations will ... as supportive care, including key findings in rare and ... The ASH Annual Meeting will be held December 5-8 ... Novartis Oncology . "We will be presenting encouraging overall ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015   VolitionRx Limited (NYSE ... diagnostic tests for a broad range of cancer types and ... LD Micro Conference, which will be held December 1 - 3 ... from VolitionRx will be David Kratochvil , Chief Financial ... of Investor Relations. ® blood-based tests for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... of the leading plastic surgery practices in Florida, is proud to announce that ... for surgical innovations giant Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company. , Ethicon ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, ... ... (AIS) is pleased to announce the speakers for “Value-Based Payer-Provider Partnerships: Three ... learned from three innovative value-based care arrangements: Essentia Health and UCare, MissionPoint ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... Sikka Software announced today that they are showcasing the Sikka Software ... complex business decisions by providing the tools and information they need to grow their ... procedures customized by zip code. , The Sikka Software Ecosystem includes over 32 ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The successful filing of an Investigational ... it is so important to this key industry segment, Regis Technologies has decided to ... on December 4th at 11am EST. , Federal law does not allow new drugs ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... EMIGSVILLE, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... (CCMS) software provider, has verified that their Vasont Universal Integrator (VUI) extension unites ... handle creating, editing, and managing content as a continuous process with the latest ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):