3.6% in U.S. have food sen­si­tiv­i­ties

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE -

Some 3.6 per­cent of Amer­i­cans — fewer than 1 in 25 — have at least one food al­lergy or in­tol­er­ance, ac­cord­ing to a new report. Those num­bers are lower than many ear­lier es­ti­mates.

The study, pub­lished in The Jour­nal of Al­lergy and Clin­i­cal

Im­munol­ogy, drew on the elec­tronic health records of 2.7 mil­lion adults and chil­dren who re­ceived care be­tween 2000 and 2013 at a large health care sys­tem in the Bos­ton area.

Of the 97,482 pa­tients who had food al­ler­gies or in­tol­er­ances, about half had symp­toms such as hives, nau­sea and cough­ing. Nearly 16 per­cent had more se­ri­ous, body­wide ana­phy­lac­tic re­ac­tions.

The most common food al­ler­gen groups were shell­fish, fruits or veg­eta­bles, dairy and peanuts, in that or­der. Women and Asians were more likely to have food al­ler­gies and in­tol­er­ances than other groups.

Dr. Li Zhou, the se­nior au­thor and an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Brigham and Women’s Hospi­tal, said that chil­dren had higher rates of al­ler­gies than adults, and that al­lergy rates in­creased among all pa­tients each year be­tween 2000 and 2013.

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