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The Peanut Section

Prevalence of Peanut Allergy

Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies in children and are on the rise.

A major study in the United States recently found that cases of peanut allergy in children more than tripled in a decade, and that more than 3 million Americans now have a peanut or nut allergy.

In Canada, recent research has shown 1.68 per cent of children have peanut allergy. In the United States, 1.4 per cent have peanut allergy. The rates are lower in adults in both countries.

In fact, food allergy in general is on the rise in North America and other developed countries. In Canada, an estimated 7.5 per cent of people have food allergies, representing more than 2.5 million people. In the United States it’s estimated that 12 million Americans (or just under 4 per cent of the population) have food allergies.

Here are the rates of some of the major allergens in Canada and the U.S.

CANADA

Allergen Children Adults All
Peanut 1.68 % 0.71 % 0.93 %
Tree Nut 1.59 % 1 % 1.14 %
Shellfish 0.5 % 1.69 % 1.42 %
Fish 0.18 % 0.56 % 0.48 %
Sesame 0.23 % 0.05 % 0.09 %

Source: Surveying Canadians to Assess the Prevalence of Common Food Allergies and Attitudes towards Food Labelling and Risk (SCAAALAR) study. Published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, June 2010.

UNITED STATES

Allergen Children
Peanut 1.4%
Tree Nut 1.1%ƒ
Sesame 0.1%

Peanut, Tree Nut or both:
Children -  2.1 %
Adults – 1.3 %

Source: US prevalence of self-reported peanut, tree nut, and sesame allergy: 11-year follow-up. Published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, June 2010.

Milk and egg allergy are both common in children. In the United States, 2.5 per cent of children under the age of 3 have a milk allergy. Egg allergy affects 1.5 to 3.2 per cent of children.
The good news is many children outgrow their allergies to milk and egg.

Source: AAAAI

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Allergic Living acknowledges the assistance of the OMDC Magazine Fund, an initative of the Ontario Media Development Cooperation.