Adult Onset Allergies on the Rise
See the numbers of U.S. adults with food-specific, adult-onset allergies
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In a 2017 study conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology of more than 40,000 U.S. adults, one in four reported developing a food allergy after childhood, with women more likely to report this than men. Shellfish caused the most common allergic reaction reported by adults, with 13.3 percent reporting a reaction.
Other common allergic reactions included milk (6 percent), wheat (5.6 percent), tree nuts (4.8 percent) and soy (3.9 percent).
Shellfish allergies affect an estimated 3.6 percent of U.S. adults. This marks a 44 percent increase from the 2.5 percent prevalence rate published in a previous 2004 study. Similarly, adult tree nut allergy prevalence has risen to 1.8 percent from a 2008 estimate of .5 percent, an increase of 260 percent.
The number of U.S. adults with food-specific, adult-onset allergies reported in 2016 are listed below:
Shellfish: 3.5 million
Milk: 1 million
Wheat: 1 million
Tree nuts: 900,000
Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology