Shellfish allergy is the most common allergy in Canada, affecting 1.42 per cent of the population. Most sufferers are adults: 1.69 per cent have the allergy, compared to just 0.5 per cent of children.
Fish allergy is less common, affecting 0.18 per cent of children and 0.56 per cent of adults.
In general, food allergy 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.
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.
Here are the rates of some of the major allergens in Canada and the U.S.
|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.
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. Research shows 80 per cent of milk allergy is outgrown by age 16, while 68 % of egg allergy is outgrown by that age.