According to the largest allergy study ever conducted, more Americans than ever suffer from allergies. These allergies afflict one in five Americans and account for more than 30,000 trips to the emergency room each year. The study, conducted by Quest Diagnostics, found that allergy rates have increased nearly 6 percent over just the past four years. The researchers note that the highest increases were to ragweed and mold allergies, suggesting climate change as one possible culprit.
Researchers also found that kids are more allergic than adults. This is especially true of peanut allergies. More than half of kids and teens tested as part of the study were sensitive to at least one food allergen, with one in five showing a high degree of sensitivity, compared with one in ten adults. Peanut allergies affected nearly a quarter of those aged 6 to 18, and was even more common in kids under 5.
Kids who have food allergies from a young age are more likely to develop asthma and other allergic conditions later in life, according to the researchers. The study also discovered that low-income kids were less likely to be tested for allergies before the age of 5, suggesting that these children may be missing critical early treatments for allergies. As a result, they may be at higher risk for developing other allergies later in life.
Read more about the study results here: http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/27/5-ways-americans-allergies-are-getting-worse/#ixzz1NaMba6zJ