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Allergy Facts and Statistics

Allergic disease is the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all ages, and the 3rd common chronic disease among children under 18 years old. AAAAI

Approximately 2.2 million school-aged children have food allergy. AAAAI

One in every 17 children under the age of 3 has food allergy. AAAAI

Approximately 12 million Americans suffer from food allergy, with 6.9 million allergic to seafood and 3.3 million allergic to peanuts or tree nuts. AAAAI

Eight foods account for 90% of all reactions in the U.S.: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. AAAAI

Food allergies cause 30,000 cases of anaphylaxis, 2,000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths annually. NIAID

The costs associated with allergic disease are extraordinarily high: one analysis estimated it at $7.9 billion per year, of which $4.5 billion was spent on direct care and $3.4 billion on indirect costs, related primarily to lost work productivity. AAAAI

AAAAI-American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology

NIAID-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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About Ruth LovettSmith

Ruth LovettSmith is a writer, artist and designer with a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is the Founder and Editor of the popular food allergy information guide Best Allergy Sites. She also writes articles on art and design, food allergies, parenting, gardening and healthy living and is an advocate for and within the food allergy community.

4 comments

  1. Patricia Romney

    would you have the statistics of people in the USA allergic to Dairy and the Statistics of people in the USA allergic to soy.

    Thank you

  2. Patricia,

    Thank you for stopping by and for your questions.

    Keep in mind that a milk allergy and lactose intolerance are two different things.

    I found these stats at the following links:

    “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.”

    http://www.aaaai.org/media/statistics/allergy-statistics.asp#foodallergy

    “The numbers are all over the board, but it is estimated that anywhere from 2 to 7.5% of infants have an allergy to cow’s milk. Studies show that approximately 60% of infants allergic to cow’s milk will “outgrow” the allergy by the age of 4, 80% by the age of 6. Bonus for those people, but this leaves up to 4.5 million people in the U.S. alone with a potential milk allergy.”

    http://www.godairyfree.org/Table/Health-Info/Milk-Allergies/

    I can’t seem to find US statistics on Soy. I’ll keep looking. I don’t know of any study done on soy alone, but do know it’s a common allergen and many outgrow it.

    If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  3. Are there any statistics for 2010? I see 2007 everywhere, but i’m curious to see what the increase of allergies is in 2010 from 2007. thanks!

  4. Magdalena – stats are really hard to come by. They often come from surveys and research. To my knowledge there has not been a recent study or survey regarding food allergy stats as of late. I’ll keep looking for you and report back. I’m sure it’s safe to say there has more than likely been some sort of increase in allergies – though it’s hard to say how much and whether it’s a true increase in prevalence or due to better testing or more individuals seeking medical attention.

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