New Study Reveals That 45% of Food Allergies are Developed in Adulthood

In a new study, presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, it was revealed that almost half of all adults with food allergies surveyed, reported that the on-set of such allergies were in adulthood. The study found that these results were seen across ethnic groups with the most common food allergy being to shellfish.

Some food allergies can be serious and even life-threatening with symptoms from mild to severe. The organization, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), lists some food allergy symptoms as hives, itchy skin, vomiting to more severe symptoms such as loss of consciousness, turning blue, and shortness of breath. FARE warns that some these symptoms whether alone or combined could be signs of a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis which requires immediate medical attention. It is advised that when experiencing any symptom of a food allergy, medical attention should be sought at one’s primary care physician, the closest primary medical care center, urgent care clinic, or hospital emergency room.

The ACAAI research study also revealed 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,” according to the study co-author, Christopher Warren. The researchers found that many adults who experience food allergies often mistake them for food intolerance as they tend to believe that food allergies mostly affect children. They suggest that in addition to seeking initial medical attention with a healthcare professional like those at a primary medical care center or urgent care clinic, they should also see an allergist to have an allergy test administered in order to diagnose and properly tailor the treatment to the specific allergy.