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Researchers estimate prevalence of food allergies

Category: Allergy Testing

The number of children who receive positive food allergy tests may be higher than ever before, according to a new study from a team of Northwestern University researchers.

For the last couple of decades, pediatricians have reported seeing higher number of patients with food allergies. However, experts have had a difficult time putting an exact figure on the prevalence of the condition. The new study estimates that food allergies are more common than previously thought.

The team reported in the journal Pediatrics that roughly 8 percent of children under the age of 18 currently have food allergies. Furthermore, 38.7 percent have severe conditions and 30.4 suffer from allergies to multiple foods.

The findings are likely the most accurate that have been developed in some time. The researchers surveyed more than 40,000 children about their experiences with food allergies, which is a sample of considerable size.

While it appears from the results of the study that food allergies are becoming more common, the researchers said that they hope their findings will be the first step in working toward a cure for the condition.  

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