Allergy Statistics

  • A nationwide survey found that more than half (54.6%) of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergens.6
  • In a recent survey, over 50% of homes had at least six detectable allergens present.23
  • Allergic diseases affect as many as 40 to 50 million Americans.24
  • In 2006, 8% of adults and over 9% of children had been diagnosed with hay fever in the past 12 months.1, 2
  • There were more than 12 million physician office visits because of allergic rhinitis in 2006.3
  • Allergic rhinitis affects between 10% and 30% of all adults and as many as 40% of children.4
  • The prevalence of rhinitis is around 35% in Europe and Australasia, according to the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS). 5
  • From 2000 to 2005, the cost of treating allergic rhinitis almost doubled from $6.1 billion (in 2005 dollars) to $11.2 billion. More than half of that was spent on prescription medications.10
  • Immunotherapy helps reduce hay fever symptoms in about 85% of people with allergic rhinitis.24
  • Allergic Rhinitis is estimated to affect approximately 60 million people in the United States, and its prevalence is increasing.27
  • Sinusitis accounts for approximately 20% of office visits to specialists in allergy and immunology.21
  • Approximately 12% of Americans under the age of 45 have symptoms of chronic sinusitis.21
  • In one study, 55% of patients with sinusitis also had a history of allergic rhinitis.21
  • Sinusitis is one of the leading forms of chronic disease, with an estimated 18 million cases and at least 30 million courses of antibiotics per year.22
  • About 40,000 people have sinus surgery every year.22
  • Anaphylactic reactions to penicillin cause 400 deaths.7
  • Between 6% and 10% of adverse drug reactions are allergic or immunologic in nature.15
  • Between 29% and 65% of patients with HIV/AIDS are allergic to sulfonamide drugs, compared to 2% to 4% of other individuals.16
  • Penicillin is the most common cause of drug-induced anaphylaxis.20About 27% of children who have a food allergy also have eczema or a skin allergy.8
  • Contact dermatitis leads to approximately 5.7 million doctor visits each year.18
  • More than 3,700 substances have been identified as contact allergens.18
  • Atopic dermatitis affects between 10% and 20% of children and 1% to 3% of adults.19
  • As many as 15% to 24% of people in the United States will experience acute urticaria (hives) and/or angioedema at some point in their lives.25
  • In 2007, approximately 3 million children under the age of 18 were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months.8
  • The prevalence of food allergy among children under the age of 18 increased 18% percent from 1997 to 2007.8
  • Kids with a food allergy are two to four times more likely to have conditions such as asthma and other allergies.8
  • Food allergies affect about 6% of children under the age of three.11
  • Six and a half million Americans (or 2.3% of the general population) are allergic to seafood.12
  • More than 3 million people in the United States report being allergic to peanuts, tree nuts or both.13
  • More than 3% of adults have one or more food allergies.14
  • Food allergies account for 35% to 50% of all cases of anaphylaxis.20
  • Food allergies affect approximately 6% of young children and 3 to 4% of adults in the US population.27
  • Milk allergy is the most common childhood food allergy, affecting 2.5% of children less than age 3.  80% of milk allergy is outgrown by age 16.29
  • Egg allergy is the second most common food allergy in children, affecting 1.5-3.2% of children.  68% of egg allergy is outgrown by age 16.30
  • Peanut allergy affects 1.2% of children. Approximately 20% of children outgrow it by age 6.31
  • Tree Nut allergy (almonds, walnuts, etc.) affects 1.2% of the population. Approximately 9% of children outgrow tree nut allergy by age 6.32
  • Peanut allergy doubled in children from 1997-2002.33
  • Most peanut allergic patients can safely eat other legumes such as soy or beans (95%), but they can have concurrent allergy to tree nuts such as walnuts or pecans (25 to 50%).31
  • Skin contact and inhalation exposure to peanut butter are unlikely to cause systemic reactions or anaphylaxis.34
  • It is estimated that the number of cases of anaphylaxis from foods in the US increased from 21,000 per year in 1999 to 51,000 per year in 2008, based on long term population studies of anaphylaxis from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.35
  • From 2003 to 2006, food allergies resulted in approximately 317,000 visits to hospital emergency departments, outpatient clinics and physicians' offices, according to Branum and colleagues, using data from multiple US national surveys collected by the National Center for Health Statistics.36
  • Food allergy related hospital admissions increased from 2,600 per year (1998-2000) to 9,500 per year (2004-2006), according to a study from Branum and colleagues.36
  • It is estimated that food allergies cause approximately 150 to 200 fatalities per year, based on data from a five year study of anaphylaxis in Minnesota from the Mayo Clinic.37
  • Fatal food anaphylaxis is most often caused by peanuts (50-62%) and tree nuts (15-30%).38
  • At least 40 people in the United States die each year as the result of insect stings.17
  • Life-threatening reactions to insect stings occur in 0.4% to 0.8% of children and 3% of adults.17
  • The estimated annual economic impact of imported fire ants is $1.2 billion in Texas alone.26
  • Latex allergy affects between 5% and 15% of healthcare workers, but less than 1% of the general population.9
  • Between 24% and 60% of people with spina bifida have latex allergy.9

References

  • 1-Pleis JR, Lethbridge-Çejku M. Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2006. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 10(235). 2007.
  • 2-Bloom B, Cohen RA. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2006. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 10(234). 2007.
  • 3-Cherry DK, Hing E, Woodwell DA, Rechtsteiner EA. National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2006 summary. National health statistics reports; no 3. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2008.
  • 4-The Diagnosis and Management of Rhinitis: An Updated Practice Parameter. Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008; 122: S1-S84.
  • 5-Janson C et al. The European Community Respiratory Health Survey: what are the main results so far? European Respiratory Journal. 2001; 18:598–611.
  • 6-Arbes SJ et al. Prevalences of positive skin test responses to 10 common allergens in the U.S. population: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005; 116:377-383.
  • 7-Neugut AL, Ghatak AT and Miller RL. Anaphylaxis in the United States: An investigation into its epidemiology. Archives of Internal Medicine 61 (1): 15-21. 2001.
  • 8-Branum AM, Lukacs SL. Food allergy among U.S. children: Trends in prevalence and hospitalizations. NCHS data brief, no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2008.
  • 9-Poley GE and Slater JE. Latex allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000; 105:1054-1062.
  • 10-Soni A. Allergic rhinitis: Trends in use and expenditures, 2000 to 2005. Statistical Brief #204, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2008.
  • 11-Sampson HA. Food allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003; 111:S540-S547.
  • 12-Munoz-Furlong A, Sampson HA, Sicherer SH. Prevalence of self-reported seafood allergy in the U.S. [abstract] J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004;113(suppl):S100.
  • 13-Sicherer SH, Munoz-Furlong A, Sampson HA. Prevalence of peanut and tree nut allergy in the United States determined by means of a random digit dial telephone survey: A 5-year follow-up study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003;112:1203–1207.
  • 14-Sampson HA. Update on food allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004; 113:805-819.
  • 15-Gruchalla R. Understanding drug allergies. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000;105:S637-44.
  • 16-Greenberger PA. Drug allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006; 117:S464-S470
  • 17-Stinging insect hypersensitivity: A practice parameter update. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004; 114:869-886.
  • 18-Contact dermatitis: A practice parameter. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006; 97:S1-S38.
  • 19-Disease management of atopic dermatitis: An updated practice parameter. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2004; 93:S1-S21.
  • 20-The diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis: An updated practice parameter. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005; 115:S483-523.
  • 21-Hamilos DL. Chronic sinusitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000;106:213-27.
  • 22-Platts-Mills TAE, Rosenwasser LJ. Chronic sinusitis consensus and the way forward. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004; 114: 1359-1361.
  • 23-Salo PM et al. Exposure to multiple indoor allergens in U.S. homes and its relationship to asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008; 121: 678-684.e2.
    24-Airborne allergens: Something in the air. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • NIH Publication No. 03-7045. 2003.
  • 25-Urticaria: Part 1. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 2000; 85:525-531.
  • 26-Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project Web site. http://fireant.tamu.edu. Accessed June 12, 2009.
  • 27-Nathan RA. The burden of allergic rhinitis. Allergy Asthma Proc 2007;28:3-9.
  • 28-Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. Food allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006;117:S470-5.
  • 29-Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. Food allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006;117:S470-5.
  • 30-Savage JH, et al. The natural history of egg allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007;120:1413-7
  • 31-Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. Peanut allergy: emerging concepts and approaches for an apparent epidemic. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007;120:491-503.
  • 32-Fleischer DM, et al. The natural history of tree nut allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005;116:1087-93.
  • 33-Sicherer SH, et al. Prevalence of peanut and tree nut allergy in the United States determined by means of a random digit dial telephone survey: a 5-year follow-up study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003;112:1203-7
  • 34-Simonte SJ, et al. Relevance of casual contact with peanut butter in children with peanut allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003;112:180-2.
  • 35-Decker, W, et al. The etiology and incidence of anaphylaxis in Rochester, Minnesota: A report from the Rochester Epidemiology Project. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2008;122:1161-5.
  • 36-Branum AM, et al.  Food allergy among children in the United States. Pediatrics 2009;124:1549-1555.
  • 37-Sampson HA. Anaphylaxis and emergency treatment. Pediatrics 2003;111:1601-08.
  • 38-Keet CA, Wood RA. Food allergy and anaphylaxis. Immunol Allergy Clin N Am. 2007;27:193-212.
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