Most parents I know agree that when they were kids, hardly anyone had food allergies. Now the kid who brings a PB&J sandwich to school might as well have sneaked in a dirty nuke. This report from Medpage Today confirms the explosion in food allergies, but doesn’t answer the obvious question: Why?
Food allergy in children is more common than previously thought, and often is associated with severe symptoms and multiple foods, a new survey found.
The prevalence of food allergy in children and adolescents younger than 18 was 8% (95% CI 7.6 to 8.3), according to Ruchi S. Gupta, MD, of Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues.
That percentage translates into almost six million children in the U.S., the researchers noted.
And among these allergic children, 38.7% had a history of severe reactions and 30.4% were allergic to more than one type of food, they reported online in Pediatrics.
Previous studies have suggested that the prevalence of food allergy among U.S. children ranged from 1% to 8%, with an analysis of data from the 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey finding a prevalence of 4.2% in children ages 1- to 5-years-old.
These earlier estimates were imprecise, and also provided no information on the severity of the allergies, so Gupta’s group conducted a cross-sectional survey using a representative sample of households with children.
The sample included 38,480 children, evenly divided between the sexes, with a mean age of 8.5 years…
[continues at Medpage Today]