Trends in allergic conditions among children: United States, 1997-2011
Published Date:May 2013
Corporate Authors:National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.). Division of Vital Statistics.
African Americans/statistics & Numerical Data
Dermatitis, Allergic Contact/epidemiology
Dermatitis, Allergic Contact/ethnology
European Continental Ancestry Group/statistics & Numerical Data
Hispanic Americans/statistics & Numerical Data
Series:NCHS data brief ; no. 121
DHHS publication ; no. (PHS) 2013–1209
Data from the National Health Interview Survey, 1997–2011
• The prevalence of food and skin allergies increased in children under age 18 years from 1997–2011.
• The prevalence of skin allergies decreased with age. In contrast, the prevalence of respiratory allergies increased with age.
• Hispanic children had a lower prevalence of food allergy, skin allergy, and respiratory allergy compared with children of other race or ethnicities. Non-Hispanic black children were more likely to have skin allergies and less likely to have respiratory allergies compared with non- Hispanic white children.
• Food and respiratory allergy prevalence increased with income level. Children with family income equal to or greater than 200% of the poverty level had the highest prevalence rates.
Allergic conditions are among the most common medical conditions affecting children in the United States. An allergic condition is a hypersensitivity disorder in which the immune system reacts to substances in the environment that are normally considered harmless. Food or digestive allergies, skin allergies (such as eczema), and respiratory allergies (such as hay fever) are the most common allergies among children. Allergies can affect a child's physical and emotional health and can interfere with daily activities, such as sleep, play, and attending school (8,9). A severe allergic reaction with rapid onset, anaphylaxis, can be life threatening. Foods represent the most common cause of anaphylaxis among children and adolescents (10,11). Early detection and appropriate interventions can help to decrease the negative impact of allergies on quality of life. This report presents recent trends in the prevalence of allergies and differences by selected sociodemographic characteristics for children under age 18 years.
Suggested citation: Jackson KD, Howie LD, Akinbami LJ. Trends in allergic conditions among children: United States, 1997–2011. NCHS data brief, no 121. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2013.
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