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News2008December › Allergies: 4 per cent of children have food allergy › December 2008

Allergies: 4 per cent of children have food allergy

Around 4 per cent of all children and adolescents suffer from a food allergy, and it's a problem that has grown by 20 per cent in the past decade

Around 4 per cent of all children and adolescents suffer from a food allergy, and it's a problem that has grown by 20 per cent in the past decade.


In the USA, around 3 million children have a food or digestive allergy, and this compares with 2.3 million in 1997, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Around 90 per cent of these allergies are triggered by one of eight foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.


Children with a food allergy are twice as likely to suffer from asthma. Latest figures show that 29 per cent of children with a food allergy also had asthma compared with 12 per cent of children with asthma who don't have a food allergy. Children who have asthma and a food allergy are more likely to suffer an anaphylactic reaction to food, which can sometimes be fatal.


Children with a food allergy are also more likely to suffer from other types of allergic conditions, such as eczema and respiratory problems.


(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008; 300: 2358).


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