Allergy Facts and Statistics

Allergies have always been a very common condition, but unfortunately not everyone is prepared to handle them. If the population has the proper awareness of allergies and treatment plans, many report allergy complication could be avoided. To help raise awareness and encourage more people to take better care of their allergies, here are some allergy facts and statistics you should know.

Prevalence of Allergies

You may be surprised to learn that in spite of continuing advances in medicine, allergies and allergic reactions are among the most commonly reported conditions in the United States.

  • Allergies are currently the fifth most prevalent chronic disease in the United States.
  • 55% of the U.S. population have tested positive for one or more allergens.
  • Asthma, allergic rhinitis, food allergies, and atopic dermatitis (eczema) are common across every age group and affect a total of 17 million adults and more than 7 million children.
  • Researchers estimate up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.
  • Food allergies are potentially deadly and affect 1 in every 13 children.
  • Allergies cost the health care system and other businesses about $7.9 billion per year.
  • The cumulative cost of food allergies throughout America is nearly $25 billion per year.
  • Approximately 4 million work days are lost due to hay fever every year.
  • There are approximately 30,000 visits to the ER every year due to food allergies.
  • There are more than 200,000 ER visits due to a food allergy reaction every year.

Unfortunately, allergies are on the rise:

  • The prevalence of food and skin allergies in children under 18 years has increased from 1997 – 2011, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Food allergies are on the rise worldwide, but researchers are not sure why. That same study found a 50% increase in food allergies between 1997 – 2011.

Complicating Factors

Certain factors are likely to increase your chances of developing allergies or experiencing an allergic reaction:

  • There are 8 major foods that are responsible for 90% of reported food allergies: eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, soy, wheat, and fish.
  • Food allergies tend to be more prominent in children than adults. Data shows that food allergies often decrease with age: 4.7% of children under 5 have reported food allergies, while 3.7% of children between 5 – 17 years old have reported food allergies.
  • The odds of a child with one allergic parent developing allergies is 33%. That number grows to 70% when the child has two allergic parents.
  • Females are more likely to have food allergies, with females reporting reactions at 4.1% and males at 3.8%.
  • Adults are more likely to experience a deadly allergic reaction from an insect sting. They have a 3% chance, while children have only a 0.4% – 0.8%.
  • Healthcare workers are more likely to develop latex allergies than the rest of the population. The general population has a less than 1% chance of developing this type of allergy, while healthcare workers have a 5% – 15% incidence.
  • Milk allergies are most common in children at 2.5% under three years of age.
  • Peanut allergies doubled in the number of diagnosed cases between 1997 – 2003.


These facts and statistics were taken from the American College of Allergy, Asthma Immunology (ACAAI)Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE)WebMD; and Healthline. Check out these links for even more information about allergies, if you are interested.

Diagnose Your Allergy Today

If you think you might be among the 55% of Americans with a diagnosed allergy, it may be wise to get tested. An experienced doctor can help you learn more about the causes of your allergies, how to avoid them, and perhaps most importantly, prescribe you an epinephrine auto-injector in case of anaphylaxsis.

Dr. Shukla can help with your allergies. He is an experienced pulmonologist specializing in asthma, allergies, and sleep apnea. If you have chronic allergy symptoms, Dr. Shukla can help you with a treatment plan or advice drawn from his 15 years of experience. There’s a reason why thousands of New Yorkers rely on Dr. Shukla for their allergies every year.

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