Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #24
1. Scientists are reporting an increase in food allergies over the past decade. In particular, peanut allergies among young children doubled between 1997 and 2002.
2. Approximately 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies, with 6.9 million allergic to seafood and 3.3 million allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.
3. Food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) outside the hospital setting.
4. Eight foods account for 90% of all reactions in the U.S.: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, etc.), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
5. There is no cure for food allergy. Strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to prevent a reaction.
6. Food allergic reactions result in over 30,000 emergency room visits each year.
7. It is estimated that between 150 and 200 people die annually from anaphylaxis to food; including children and young adults.
8. Approximately 2.2 million school-aged children have food allergy.
9. One in every 17 children under the age of 3 has food allergy.
10. Milk allergy is one of the most common in young infants, with 2-3% of children under three years of age allergic to cow's milk proteins.
11. Trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction. Patients should be on guard for hidden ingredients (such as milk or peanuts) in unsuspected places such as candy, baked goods, trail mixes, sauces, desserts, and gravies, just to name a few.
12. Medications can even contain dairy (Prevacid Solutabs is one example).
13. Virtually all infants who develop cow's milk allergy do so in the first year of life, with about 80% ‘outgrowing' their milk allergy by their fifth birthday. Nearly 25% of these milk-allergic infants retain their sensitivity into the second decade of life, and 35% go on to develop other food allergies.
Source: Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network & AllergicChild.com