New Food Allergies: Not Just for Kids

Rising number of food allergies may develop during adulthood

(RxWiki News) Many new food allergies may develop during adulthood, a new study found.

This research also revealed that adult-onset food allergies appear to be becoming more common. Just under half of adults in this study who had food allergies said they developed them as adults.

"Food allergies are often seen as a condition that begins in childhood, so the idea that 45 percent of adults with food allergies develop them in adulthood is surprising," said lead study author Dr. Ruchi Gupta, of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, in a press release. "We also saw that, as with children, the incidence of food allergies in adults is rising across all ethnic groups."

Shellfish allergies were the most common adult food allergy and affected an estimated 3.6 percent of adults in the United States, this research found. That's up from 2.5 percent in 2004. In 2008, an estimated 0.5 percent of adults were allergic to tree nuts. Now, this study has suggested that 1.8 percent of adults might have this allergy.

The researchers behind this study said many adults might not realize they're allergic to a food and instead believe their symptoms are related to a food intolerance. The study authors said adults who suspect they might have a new food allergy should see an allergist.

This study was published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Aimmune Therapeutics and the Stanford Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research funded this study. Information on possible conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

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Review Date: 
October 25, 2017