Seafood Allergies Common For Adults

Posted on: Tue, 07/13/2004 - 9:48am
synthia's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Seafood Allergies Common for Adults

Tuna, Salmon, Shellfish Can Cause Serious Allergic Reactions

By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Tuesday, July 13, 2004
More From WebMD

Like This Article? Send It to a Friend

July 13, 2004 -- Shrimp, lobster, clams: Americans love seafood. But many adults will develop a severe allergy to shellfish as well as tuna and salmon.

Some 7 million Americans are thought to be affected, or 2.3% of the population, according to a nationwide survey.

"This study showed that seafood allergy often develops in adulthood, that most persons have multiple reactions, and that reactions often include severe symptoms," writes lead researcher Scott H. Sicherer, MD, with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

His study appears in this month's issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

Researchers define "seafood" as finned fish (tuna, cod, salmon) and shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, clams, squid). An allergic reaction to certain proteins in seafood can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis -- a sudden, severe, potentially fatal reaction that results in low blood pressure and throat swelling, making breathing difficult. Seafood allergies can also cause a severe skin reaction or can trigger an asthma attack.

According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, food-induced anaphylaxis causes approximately 30,000 emergency room visits and about 150 to 200 deaths each year in the U.S.

Despite the potential lethal nature of the reaction, few studies have looked at exactly how common seafood allergy is, Sicherer says.

His nationwide telephone survey involved almost 15,000 adults who answered detailed questions about finfish and shellfish -- identifying individuals in their homes who had a seafood allergy, including positive allergy skin test reaction or blood tests or an allergic reaction from eating fish. The volunteers also produced information on the ages when these reactions first occurred.

Sicherer found that both fish and shellfish allergies were more commonly found among adults ages 40 to 60. Also:

*

6% of households had at least one person with a seafood allergy.
*

3% of adults had any seafood allergies, compared with 0.6% of children.
*

4% of women had seafood allergies, compared with 2% of men.
*

40% of fish allergies and 60% of shellfish allergies began in adulthood.
*

For about 10% of those surveyed, the worst reactions were caused by touching or smelling fish.
*

Hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, and tightened throat were the most common symptoms.
*

Salmon, tuna, catfish, and cod were the fish that most commonly caused reactions.
*

Shrimp was the most common type of shellfish that caused reactions.

Only 9% of allergic people in Sicherer's study had a prescription for epinephrine, which halts the reaction. Yet 16% reported having been given the medication to halt an allergic reaction to fish in the past. "This discrepancy highlights the need for improved awareness and education about seafood allergies," he writes.

Since many people surveyed were reporting allergic reactions but were not actually tested for a food allergy, his results may be somewhat conservative, he says.

SOURCES: Sicherer, S. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, July 2004: pp 159-165. WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Understanding Anaphylaxis."

Posted on: Tue, 07/13/2004 - 2:02pm
persnicketyFriend's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/14/2004 - 09:00

Thank you for posting this. Very interesting information! My DH has a severe seafood allergy. He nearly died on our honeymoon. He had to be taken to a hospital and have an epi shot, and the doctor told him to stay away from ALL fish, including tuna. He has, but he doesn't carry his epi pen with him, and he's pretty lax about it. I'll print this off and show him!
Thanks again!

Posted on: Tue, 07/13/2004 - 11:08pm
synthia's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/05/2002 - 09:00

Your welcome!
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Wed, 07/14/2004 - 6:01am
NutsBugMe's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/25/2003 - 09:00

Synthia,
Thank you for sharing the above info. Seafood is my "other" severe allergy. I have been allergic to nuts and seafood my entire life. Both allergies have gotten worse as I have aged (I'm now in my early 40's). My screen name should be Nuts&FishBugMe! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Take care,
Terri

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

Click on one of the categories below to see all topics and discussions.

Latest Discussions

Latest Post by MichaelJuivy Sun, 08/09/2020 - 11:27am
Comments: 0
Latest Post by doggydude Sun, 07/19/2020 - 4:36am
Comments: 1
Latest Post by Tinsley Thu, 07/16/2020 - 8:12am
Comments: 5
Latest Post by Tinsley Thu, 07/16/2020 - 7:21am
Comments: 13
Latest Post by beachgal2020 Wed, 07/15/2020 - 1:45pm
Comments: 79
Latest Post by doggydude Wed, 07/15/2020 - 12:46pm
Comments: 46

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

Asthma is a condition that is considered to be chronic and long term. Asthma disrupts the airways located in the lungs. Asthma often causes these...

Peanut oil is an inexpensive, healthful and inoffensive way to cook—unless you have a peanut allergy!

Light peanut oil is popular as a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

People with peanut allergy should know about foods to avoid, as many who are allergic to peanuts are allergic to other nuts like walnuts, cashews...

If you or your child has a peanut allergy, that unmistakable smell of peanuts wafting through the air...

Whether you have a child with a peanut allergy or you are sensitive to packing a nut-free lunch out of concern for other people’s children, it is...

For those living with peanut allergies, having a source of ready-to-eat 'safe' foods can be a...

Those with severe peanut allergies soon learn to look for the 'peanut-free sign' on any packaged food purchase. This is a notation found on a wide...

For many people with peanut allergies, baked goods present one of the most significant risks. Even if...

Are you craving sweets? Those with peanut allergies must be especially careful when indulging their...

Peanuts and Nuts Can Trigger An Asthma Attack

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI), more than 3...

There are more "peanut-free" products than ever on the supermarket shelves. This means more choices than ever for peanut-allergic shoppers and...

It Is Easy To Buy Peanut Free Chocolate Online

Ask any parent of a child with a potentially life-...

How Do You Determine If A Food Is Safe For A Peanut Allergic Person?

The answer varies. “Peanut-free” means different things to different...

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a New Drug Application for an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) designed for use with...

Fact 1: Over a third of food allergy reactions happen after the first known oral...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

It’s hard to think of Chinese food without thinking of peanuts. China is the world’s leading peanut producer, and that’s not a coincidence....

Soymilk is one of the most popular alternatives to cow’s milk. As well as being rich in fiber, soy is a great source of protein and contains all...

My mom was at a lakeside restaurant enjoying fish and chips when her mouth began tingling. The next day at a family gathering, we had grilled...