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Food allergy among U.S. children : trends in prevalence and hospitalizations
  • Published Date:
    October 2008
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-313.16 KB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.)
  • Pubmed ID:
    19389315
  • Description:
    Key findings:

    • In 2007, approximately 3 million children under age 18 years (3.9%) were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months.

    • From 1997 to 2007, the prevalence of reported food allergy increased 18% among children under age 18 years.

    • Children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children without food allergies.

    • From 2004 to 2006, there were approximately 9,500 hospital discharges per year with a diagnosis related to food allergy among children under age 18 years

    Food allergy is a potentially serious immune response to eating specific foods or food additives. Eight types of food account for over 90% of allergic reactions in affected individuals: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat (1,2). Reactions to these foods by an allergic person can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips and hives to death, depending on the severity of the allergy. The mechanisms by which a person develops an allergy to specific foods are largely unknown. Food allergy is more prevalent in children than adults, and a majority of affected children will “outgrow” food allergies with age. However, food allergy can sometimes become a lifelong concern (1). Food allergies can greatly affect children and their families’ well-being. There are some indications that the prevalence of food allergy may be increasing in the United States and in other countries (2–4).

    Suggested citation: 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.

    CS122360

    T32855 (10/2008)

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