In a study of discharge data collected over 5 years from over 200 hospitals in Illinois, it was determined that emergency room visits and hospitalizations of children with severe food allergies rose an average of 30% each year between 2008 and 2012.
The study, led by Dr. Ruchi Gupta, professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and attending physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, focused on children that suffered anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction.
Previously, white children and those from higher-income families were affected most by food allergies, but the study shows that the rates of Hispanic, African American and lower-income children are skyrocketing as well.
“This study shows that severe food allergies are beginning to impact children of all races and income. This is no longer primarily a disease of children who are white and/or from middle-to-high income families. Nobody is immune to it,” said Dr Gupta.
The May edition of the Allergic Living News Report – dedicated to Food Allergy Awareness Month – features a free, must-read e-booklet entitled: “18 Things You Need to Know About Food Allergy Reactions”.
This resource as especially valuable for families coping with food allergies as well as teachers, school nurses, restauranteurs, and everyone else that deals with the public in a setting involving food. Distributed as an easy-to-download PDF that can be viewed on your PC, tablet and phone, it provides a summary of important facts, strategies, and statistics to keep in mind should you or a loved one experience (or suspect) an anaphylactic reaction. The publication is structured in an easy-to-read read conversational format and covers many topics such as “Severe reactions: are they rare or frequent?”, “Define anaphylaxis”, and “When antihistamines don’t measure up”.
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A study of the accidental exposure of children with physician-confirmed peanut allergy was published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Allergy earlier this month.
The parents of 1941 children were recruited from Canadian allergy clinics and allergy advocacy organizations over a ten year period beginning in 2004, who completed questionnaires regarding the accidental exposure to peanuts of their children over the preceding year and the results were correlated.
On February 23rd at this year’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in Houston, a study was presented regarding incidence of anaphylaxis in schools during the 2013-2014 school year, confirming the need for stock epinephrine.
Of 5683 schools that responded to the study survey, a total of 919 anaphylactic events were reported by 11% of the schools. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Allergic Living’s site features an exclusive interview with Dr Helen Brough, lead author of a British study showing an association between high levels of peanut residue in homes, genetic factors for eczema, and increased incidence of peanut allergy.
The study examined peanut residue by vacuuming the sofas in 577 UK homes with babies in the first year of life. These children were later revisited at 8 and 11 years old and tested for peanut allergy along with a mutation in their genes associated with eczema. The results showed that children with the mutation were 3 times as likely to develop peanut allergy in homes with 3 times the quantity of peanut residue found in the household dust.
Children suffering food-induced anaphylaxis (FIA) were less than half as likely to need hospitalization if they received epinephrine prior to visiting the hospital emergency department. This was the finding of a study published in September in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.
The study, conducted at Hasbro Children’s Hospital/Rhode Island Hospital, reviewed the charts of 384 emergency department visits for FIA during a six year period beginning January 1, 2004. Of these, 234 (61%) received treatment with epinephrine prior to the visit (the “early” receivers of epinephrine.)
Mainstream publications serving the food and beverage industry are beginning to turn their attention to the issue of food allergies. We noted a previous article describing our Manufacturer Partnership Program and Safe Snack Guide in Food Navigator-USA last month. This time, Gourmet News, a publication dedicated to the Gourmet industry, is highlighting the issue.
This month’s edition features two front page articles intended to provide coverage and raise awareness within the industry. We’re proud to announce that SnackSafely.com founder, Debra Bloom, features prominently in both.
On December 5, federal legislation sponsored by Rep Matt Cartwright (D-PA) was introduced in Congress and assigned to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
The Alerting Local Leaders and Ensuring Responsible Guidelines for Youth Act (ALLERGY Act), if enacted, would mandate schools develop programs to address the bullying of children with food allergies. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, “31.5% of the children and 24.7% of the parents reported bullying specifically due to FA [food allergy], frequently including threats with foods, primarily by classmates.” The study was based on 251 respondents to a survey of families of children with food allergies.
Reports of Pro-Bowl Linebacker Adrian Peterson’s 2011 bout of anaphylaxis are making the rounds again. While we applaud Peterson’s advocacy, let’s take the opportunity to recap what we learned.
Peterson, who had no prior history of shellfish allergy, ate a bowl of seafood gumbo for lunch during training camp. About 30 minutes later, he began experiencing classic symptoms of anaphylaxis: itchiness and swelling of the eyes and swelling of his throat resulting in difficulty breathing. He called his trainer who recognized the symptoms and immediately administered epinephrine from an auto-injector he kept on-hand.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published comprehensive guidelines for the management of food allergies in schools. The document, entitled “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies In Schools and Early Care and Education Programs“, provides practical information and strategies for use in conjunction and compliance with federal laws and regulations.
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