The Allergy Epidemic Affects 1 out of 4 Americans
- Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies.
- Approximately 55 percent of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergens.
- Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States.
- Allergies cost the health care system about $18 billion annually.
- Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is the reason for over 15 million doctor office visits each year.
- In the past year, 18.4 million adults and 6.7 children were diagnosed with hay fever.
- Chronic sinusitis is the most commonly reported chronic disease, affecting about 35 million Americans.
- People who suffer from sinusitis miss about 4 days of work each year because of their illness.
- Food allergy occurs in approximately 6 to 8 percent of children under the age of 4 and approximately 4 percent of adults.
- About 150 Americans, mostly children, die from food-induced anaphylaxis each year.
- Peanut allergies and tree nut allergies cause the most extreme food allergy symptoms.
- The number of children with potentially fatal peanut allergies doubled between 1997 and 2002.
- Urticaria (hives) is common and affects 10 to 20 percent of the population at some time in their lives.
- Stinging Insect allergy is common, affecting about 3 percent of Americans and 1 percent of children.
- Approximately 100 Americans die annually from anaphylaxis induced by stinging insects.
- Penicillin is the most common culprit in drug allergy. Anaphylactic reactions to penicillin cause approximately 400 deaths a year.
- Allergic dermatitis (itchy rash) is the most common skin condition in children younger than 11 years of age. The percentage of children diagnosed
with it has increased from 3% in the 1960s to 10% in the 1990s.
- Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases, particularly in infants and children. The estimated prevalence in the United
States is 9%. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis appears to be increasing.
- Approximately 220 cases of anaphylaxis and 3 deaths per year are due to latex allergy.
- If one parent has allergic disease, the estimated risk of a child to develop allergies is 48%; the childs estimated risk grows to 70% if both
parents have a history of allergies.
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