Adult food allergies have been on the rise the last decade

Previous findings have determined that over half of all food allergies are developed as an adult, and new research shows that those instances are rising in recent years.

Data collected by nonprofit organization FAIR Health shows that severe allergic reactions to food have increased at an alarming rate, rising 377% from 2007 to 2016. Additionally, about 25 percent of those severe reactions were reported just last year.

FAIR Health was able to compile the statistics by reviewing more than 23 billion billed medical and dental claims from more than 150 million privately insured individuals. Top foods identified by the review that caused anaphylaxis (a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction) are:

  1. Peanuts – 26% of all claims
  2. Tree nuts – 18%
  3. Eggs – 7%
  4. Crustaceans – 6%
  5. Dairy – 5%
  6. Fruits and vegetables – 2%
  7. Fish – 2%
  8. Food additives – 1%

34% of the anaphylaxis diagnoses were given to individuals over the age of 18, the research shows. This finding seems to discount the previous belief that severe food allergies are exclusive to childhood development.

FAIR Health will look to use this data to further explore allergies in relation to gender, age, geographic distribution, treatments, and costs. “Such research, in turn, may inspire other researchers and help to inform policy or protocols about this serious and growing health condition,” FAIR Health states in its study.

Click here to view an infographic summarizing the primary data from this research.