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Survey shows that food allergies are on the rise

Category: Allergy Testing

Parents of younger kids may want to bring their children to a doctor for a food allergy test, as a recent survey has found that the number children suffering from such allergies more than tripled since 1997.

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine conducted telephone surveys, and found that the number of parents who reported having a child with peanut allergies rose from just 0.6 percent in 1997 to 2.1 in 2008.

Lead author, Dr Scott Sicherer, said that the numbers show a need for a better understanding of why food allergies are increasing, and what can be done to prevent the situation from becoming even more of a problem.

"These results show that there is an alarming increase in peanut allergies, he said."Our research shows that more than three million Americans report peanut or tree nut allergies, representing a significant health burden."

The team of researchers speculated that over-reliance on medications that prevent and quickly treat infections may leave children's immune systems in a state where they are attacking harmless proteins, like those in foods, pollen and animal dander.

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