Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High prevalence and severity of childhood food allergy in the US

Date:
June 20, 2011
Source:
Children's Memorial Hospital
Summary:
A national study of food allergies in the US, the largest of its kind, finds that more children have food allergies than previously reported.

A national study of food allergies in the US, the largest of its kind, finds that more children have food allergies than previously reported.

The study, published in the July issue of Pediatrics, and headed by Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a pediatrician at Children's Memorial Hospital, shows food allergy affects 8 percent of children under 18 years of age, or about 5.9 million children in the US. Of those, 38.7 percent had a history of severe reactions, and 30.4 percent had multiple food allergies. Children with food allergies were most commonly allergic to peanuts (25.2 percent), milk (21.1 percent) and shellfish (17.2 percent).

"The large, population-based nature of this study shows that pediatric food allergy is a significant and growing problem in our society," said Dr. Gupta. "Based on our data, about 1 in every 13 children has a food allergy. What's more, nearly 2 out of every 5 affected children suffer from a severe food-allergy. For these children, accidental ingestion of an allergenic food may lead to difficulty breathing, a sharp drop in blood pressure, and even death. Now that we understand just how far-reaching the problem of food allergy truly is, we can begin taking the necessary steps to keep these children safe."

To determine the true prevalence of food-allergy, researchers surveyed nearly 40,000 US households with children. Participants were asked to answer a battery of questions for a randomized child in their household, including present or past food allergy, date of onset, method of diagnosis, and reaction history for each reported allergen. Detailed demographic items were also included. Said Dr. Gupta, "What makes this study so unique is not only the large number of households surveyed, but the amount of data collected for children with a reported food allergy. With this data we are able to differentiate between perceived and convincing food allergies, understand racial and economic differences in food allergy, and understand trends in food allergy diagnosis and testing. For example, Asian and Black children were more likely to have a convincing history of food allergy, but were less likely to receive a formal diagnosis when compared with White children."

The Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), a non-profit founded in 1998 by concerned parents and grandparents and the largest provider of funding for food allergy research, helped fund this study. "FAI was proud to support this important study. It is especially disturbing to see the increasing prevalence and severity of food allergies in this country. Every day, we hear from families who are struggling with the emotional, physical and economic impact of food allergies. That's why FAI is committed to accelerating the pace of clinical trials that will lead to new therapies and ultimately, a cure," said Mary Jane Marchisotto, Executive Director of FAI.

Gupta says the next set of studies will focus on understanding observed geographical, racial, and diagnostic trends. "By understanding why some children are affected by food allergy while others are not, we can begin to better focus our efforts on finding a cure."

Other researchers include: Elizabeth E. Springston, BA.; Manoj Warrier, MD; Bridget Smith, PhD.' Rajesh Kumar, MD, Jacqueline A. Pongracic, MD; and Jane Holl, MD, MPH.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Memorial Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ruchi S. Gupta, Elizabeth E. Springston, Manoj R. Warrier, Bridget Smith, Rajesh Kumar, Jacqueline Pongracic, Jane L. Holl. The Prevalence, Severity, and Distribution of Childhood Food Allergy in the United States. Pediatrics, 2011; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-0204

Cite This Page:

Children's Memorial Hospital. "High prevalence and severity of childhood food allergy in the US." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110620122037.htm>.
Children's Memorial Hospital. (2011, June 20). High prevalence and severity of childhood food allergy in the US. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110620122037.htm
Children's Memorial Hospital. "High prevalence and severity of childhood food allergy in the US." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110620122037.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins