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FOOD ALLERGY PREVALENCE

THE FIRST TRUE ASSESSMENT OF HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES HAS BEEN DONE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

NHANES is a huge health and nutrition survey undertaken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention periodically.  In the last survey blood samples were collected and antibodies to common food allergens analyzed.  Robert Wood, an allergy expert at Johns Hopkins, describes what the data reveals.

WOOD: They got blood and measured food allergy antibodies from 9000 samples from across the United States, looked at children from the age of 1 to adults over the age of 60.  What we found looking at just the four most common food allergens which are peanut, milk, egg and shellfish, that 7.5 million Americans appear to have honest to goodness, potentially severe food allergy to one of those four foods.  We think that represents about half the food allergy in the country those four foods but it still gives us the best idea we’ve had so far.        :34

So food allergies, including severe ones, are much more common than anyone knew.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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