Washington: A study has recently found that almost half of all food-allergic adults develop one or more food allergies in adulthood, with Hispanic, Asian and black individuals most at risk.
Researchers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that 45 percent of people experience the onset of at least one food allergy after the age of 17.
In fact more than 35 per cent of allergies to many types of seafood – including shrimp, crab and lobster – do not appear until after age 17.
Lead author Ruchi Gupta said that food allergies are often seen as a condition that begins in childhood, so the idea that 45 per cent of adults with food allergies develop them in adulthood is surprising.
“We also saw that, as with children, the incidence of food allergies in adults is rising across all ethnic groups,” Gupta added.
The researchers said as of 2011 eight per cent of US children reported having a food allergy, where 40 per cent of them had experienced a severe reaction while 30 per cent were allergic to multiple foods.
The report noted that the prevalence of tree nut and sesame allergies among children is on the rise, and a separate study published today has found that childhood peanut allergies have become 20 percent more prevalent in the last seven years.
The research also found that, among black, Asian and Hispanic adults, the risk of developing a food allergy to certain foods is higher than for whites, specifically for shellfish and peanuts, stated food allergy researcher Christopher Warren.
Asian adults were 2.1 times more likely to report a shellfish allergy than white adults, and Hispanic adults reported a peanut allergy at 2.3 times the frequency of white adults.
Because many adults believe food allergies mostly affect children, they may not think to get tested. It is important to see an allergist for testing and diagnosis if you are having a reaction to a food and suspect a food allergy, the authors suggested.
They might not seek the help of an allergist for diagnosis, but allergists are specially trained to administer allergy testing and diagnose the results. Allergists can tailor a plan specific to your allergies.