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Category: Allergy Testing
The occurrence of food allergies, which are potentially life-threatening, has dramatically increased among children in the U.S., new research has found.
A study published in the December issue of Pediatrics shows that since 1993, the number of children with food allergies has gone up 18 percent, and the number of emergency room or hospital visits linked to the condition has tripled, HealthDay News reports.
The researchers arrived at these conclusions after studying four national data sources, administering surveys to parents and healthcare providers, and performing testing for immunoglobulin E antibodies, which can indicate an allergy.
Surveys revealed that almost 4 percent of parents reported a food or digestive allergy in their child.
"People should be aware that food allergy may really be increasing," Amy Branum, a health statician for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the news source. "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."
According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, shellfish and wheat products are responsible for the most common allergic reactions.
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