35 Allergy Statistics and Facts That Will Provoke Reactions
Living with any type of allergy can be a nightmare, both for those who are suffering and for those who are giving them support. Allergy statistics show that these conditions are ever-more present in our lives, exhausting our health, energy, and finances on a daily basis.
Going through the recent stats and facts, however, will give you hope for better sneezy days to come. Global attention is on our side, and medical research is on the way to help us fight the war on allergies.
In the meantime, here are some interesting allergy figures everyone should be acquainted with.
Top 10 Key Allergy Facts and Figures:
- 4–8% of children have food hypersensitivity.
- Climate change accounts for severe allergies in the Northern Hemisphere.
- In the US, insect sting allergies are the deadliest.
- Western countries are on the top of the list for peanut allergy prevalence.
- Early exposure to peanuts cuts the chances of allergy up to 25%.
- 4–5-year-olds have the greatest risk of anaphylaxis.
- North Carolina tops the charts concerning food allergy statistics in the US.
- 1 in 5 adults is allergic to cats.
- Cow’s milk allergy is the most common in Western children.
- CBD could stop chronic inflammation in allergies.
Respiratory Allergies Stats and Facts
1. 20% of the global population suffers from pollen allergy.
Although only 8% are officially diagnosed, it is suspected that 20% of the US population suffers from pollen allergy. Europe has the same percentage while Australia has the lowest with just 10% of the population suffering from pollen allergies as per allergy statistics worldwide 2017.
Allergen‐specific immunotherapy, popularly known as “allergy shots” is the most frequent treatment for pollen allergies.
2. Climate change accounts for severe allergies in the Northern Hemisphere.
Progressively warmer temperatures are one of the major causes that explain why allergies are on the rise in 2018 and in the past decade. The pollen season is 11–27 days longer than 15 years ago, which accounts for allergy symptoms that last for longer periods each year.
Another observed consequence is the increased severity of symptoms, due to the higher pollen count as attested in pollen allergy statistics. In addition, increased air CO2 concentrations lead to a proliferation of certain allergy-causing species, like the poison ivy. Warmer temperatures also promote the formation and propagation of fungal spores.
3. Allergy decongestant pseudoephedrine is also a nerve stimulant.
PSE, the most common ingredient in OTC allergy and flu decongestant medicines, belongs to the chemical class of amphetamines. Due to its stimulant effect on the nervous system, PSE presents a risk of overdose.
Because of overconsumption and misuse of PSE as an ingredient for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamines, US patients are now submitted to an ID check when purchasing it.
This is not the case with all the countries in Europe or the developing world where it is freely bought over the counter.
Food Allergies Facts and Stats
4. 4–8% of children have hypersensitivity to food.
Allergy percentages today among children are skyrocketing, especially in the heavily industrialized areas — famously referred to as the first wave allergy epidemic.
The number of hypersensitive reactions has progressed in an upward trajectory, globally, for the past 50 years. In the US, there has been an exponential growth of food allergies, notably a 50% higher increase between the periods (1997–1999) and (2009–2011), following a recent CDC food allergy statistics report.
5. Half of the self-reported cases of food allergy are false.
Not every adverse response to food is due to a food allergy. There has to be an immune reaction to define it. 20% of the worldwide adult population believe they have a food hypersensitivity after experiencing a negative reaction to a certain type of food.
However, there is a considerably smaller percentage attested for. Between 1% and 10% of the global population to be exact.
6. Cow’s milk allergy is most common in Western children, milk allergy statistics report.
With a prevalence of 2–3%, cow’s milk allergies are the third leading cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, following peanuts and tree nuts allergies.
Allergy UK specifies that these numbers don’t take into account mixed IgE and non-IgE food allergy, but only the IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergies.
7. Children with food allergies are 4 times more likely to develop asthma.
There is a significantly higher prevalence of asthma in children who have one or multiple food allergies. Other allergic conditions such as eczema also follow this trend as displayed in allergy statistics worldwide (2018).
New studies also cite rhinitis — a condition that is more than twice as likely to develop in children with food allergies. Opposed to the past belief that rhinitis is exclusively the result of respiratory allergies.
8. Western countries top the charts for peanut allergy prevalence.
(News Medical) (Wiley)
As much as 28% of food allergies in children are caused by peanuts and half of them are developed before the first year of age. Other food allergies rarely have such severe immune reactions as peanut allergies — hence the global interest for this type of allergy.
Food allergy statistics worldwide show that, in Western countries, the incidence of peanut allergy in children is between 1–3%, an estimated 1.4% in the US.
In Australia, only 0.25% of children have reported peanut allergies and an even smaller percentage of children in China have peanut allergies (just 0.1%).
9. Early exposure to peanuts cuts the chances of allergy up to 25%.
There are at least 11 proteins marked as allergens in peanuts, but despite the ongoing intensive research on this subject, there’s no definitive answer to the question “what exactly causes peanut allergy.”
Nevertheless, food allergy statistics 2018 state that exposure to peanuts as early as 4 to 11 months of age has resulted in an 11–25% decrease in the rate of peanut allergies in children with high hereditary risk.
10. Rural US children have a high prevalence of food allergies.
A 2009 report concludes that 9.8% of children living in urban US areas are allergic to one or more types of food, whereas 6.2% of children living in rural areas have food allergies.
Conversely, stats today show the exact opposite with an increase in food allergy diagnostics in rural areas (110%), compared to children living in urban areas (70%), as per food allergy statistics in 2016.
Therefore, it is evident that environmental factors play an important role in the onset of allergy, but the exact molecules and mechanisms that account for this are still unknown.
11. 4–5-year-olds have the greatest risk of anaphylaxis.
8% of children aged 4–5 and 7% of children aged 6–10 have been diagnosed with anaphylaxis due to food allergy. In adults (18–60 years of age), this percentage is significantly lower (2–3%).
Food-induced anaphylaxis in the US accounts for 186 to 225 deaths per year.
12. In 80–90% of cases, peanut and tree nuts allergies stay for life.
Most children outgrow their food allergies to milk, egg, soy, and wheat, yet careful analysis of peanut allergy statistics shows that in a vast majority of cases, nuts, fish, and shellfish allergies are there to stay.
It is also likely that the imposed strict avoidance of peanuts (for those who suffer from said peanut allergy) stands in the way of detecting the eventual outgrowing of the allergy in question.
13. The US spends $25 billion on food allergies, annually.
In the US, as in most other parts of the developed world, food allergies among children have been on the rise with an approximate increase of 18% for the period (1997–2007), as per food allergies statistics.
Following this rate, the usage of laboratory services associated with the diagnostics of allergies and anaphylaxis soared by 871% from 2007 to 2016.
In addition, the costs for these services increased by a staggering 5,390% for the same period! Nowadays, an average American family spends around $724 annually on medical costs per child with a specific food allergy.
14. North Carolina sits at the top with the most food allergies in the US, as shown in food allergy statistics by state.
North Carolina had the highest number of newly diagnosed food allergy patients in 2016. North Dakota, New Jersey, and Connecticut are also among the worst states for food allergies.
In all of the above, food allergens rank similarly, with the “tree nuts and other allergens” category being the most prevalent.
In contrast, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Vermont ranked as the best states for food allergies.
15. Men are more allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts than women.
Seeing how allergies to milk, eggs, and peanuts have an early onset in life and how boys are more likely to have food allergies, it comes as no surprise that these are a lot more common in adult males.
In contrast, food allergy facts state that seafood and food additives allergies have a later onset in life and are more frequently diagnosed in women than men.
16. A third of US adults younger than 34 don’t use any treatment for food allergy.
As indicated in the latest US allergy stats, 26% of the young adult population experiencing food allergy symptoms didn’t acquire medical attention and treatment. This is most definitely the case with food allergy reactions that are classified as mild, although even those can lead to the development of chronic diseases if left untreated.
17. Allergy statistics regarding sex tell us men take more antihistamines for allergic reactions than women.
In the US, 49% of men take antihistamines such as Zyrtec or Benadryl after experiencing an allergic reaction, compared with 42% of women that take antihistamines after experiencing allergies.
Still, women lead in the overall number of administrations of all other types of allergy treatments, such as epinephrine injections and holistic treatment. Namely, holistic treatment is noticeably more popular among women (15%) than men (8%).
18. Worrying facts about food allergies report 60% of food allergy patients experienced a food reaction in a public canteen.
Obviously, there’s a need for more public awareness of allergy basics and the recognition of severe symptoms in patients. With more than half of patients experiencing “food incidents” in public, health literacy is judged necessary for raising caution and enabling quick responses when help is needed.
Extra Allergies Stats and Facts
19. New tests for 100 popular allergens will be available soon.
Recently there were some promising breakthroughs in allergy diagnostics involving over 100 molecules that are characterized as popular allergens. Currently, the new test kits are undergoing clinical trials for approval.
Allergy statistics (2019) showed that more than a thousand molecules from diverse allergen sources have already been identified and many more are on the way.
20. In the US, insect sting allergies are the deadliest.
Around 5% of Americans have insect sting allergies. Each year, 90 out of 100 anaphylactic deaths occur after an insect sting or bite, as noted in the ACAAI data for 2018. In half of these cases, deaths are preceded by a heavy allergic reaction in the past.
Generally, people are allergic to bee or wasp stings, poisonous ant bites, and cockroaches.
21. Adverse reactions to medication increase with age.
Allergies facts demonstrate that in the US, both the younger and the older population have a greater chance of being diagnosed with allergies to certain medications in comparison with the middle-aged population. Notably, 26% of those aged 0–30 years and 30% of those over 65 have adverse reactions to drugs.
22. Men are more allergic to aspirin than women.
(Statista) (Up To Date)
A significant gender difference is observed between the aspirin allergy sufferers among the US population, noted in the allergy statistics for 2017. 12% of adult women and 20% of men had an allergic reaction to aspirin in 2017.
However, recently tested aspirin-introduction protocol demonstrated a 98% success rate in treating this type of hypersensitivity for patients in need of daily aspirin intake.
23. 10–20% of the global population are allergic to household pets.
(NCBI) (Allergy UK) (Wiley)
25% of US homes own a pet. Cats, dogs, rabbits, rodents such as guinea pigs, mice, and hamsters, as well as birds, horses, and reptiles, are the main sources of allergies.
Pet allergens are found in their dander, saliva, or fur/feathers. Pet allergy statistics show that dog allergy therapy and diagnosis are especially complicated.
24. Cat allergies as twice as common as dog allergies.
The form and size of the allergen molecule found in cats are much lighter than those observed in dogs, making them airborne for longer periods of time. This protein is found on the cat’s skin, saliva, and dander, with more prevalence in male, neutered cats.
25. 1 in 5 adults is allergic to cats.
Cat allergy is one of the most common animal‐origin allergies and its prevalence is increasing. People with cat allergies are hypersensitive to all cats and they can’t be just allergic to some cats as is the case with dog allergies.
Some fun facts about allergies describe the innovative approaches to eliminating or minimizing this hypersensitivity including anti-allergen vaccines for the cat and the latest diets containing allergen-antibodies.
A decrease of 29.57% was noted concerning allergen production, following six months of this food treatment. Clinical studies are still evaluating the potential risk that this food treatment brings to a cat’s health.
26. Tests for dog-saliva allergy are more accurate than dog-dander tests.
The diagnosis of dog allergies is more complex than that of cats. Recent studies have shown that dog-saliva tests are more accurate than dog-dander tests that are widely used. Dog allergy statistics count a total of 12 allergens that have been identified in the urine, saliva, and dander of dogs.
Also, older dogs produce more dander than younger ones, so statements such as “I’m allergic to my dog all of a sudden” are not rare in the GP’s office. As is the case with other pet allergies, dog dander allergy treatment is unlikely to be funded by any healthcare insurance.
How Does Cannabis Fare in Allergies Stats and Facts?
27. Marijuana smoking can increase sensitivity to other allergens.
A 2018 NCBI research found a significant correlation between marijuana use and sensitivity rates to common allergens such as dust mites, molds, pollen, and cat dander.
Different facts about allergies say that this is also true for marijuana sensitivity, as marijuana smoke can increase the chances of developing marijuana allergies. This goes for second-hand smokers as well, who carry the same risk of developing these allergies.
28. 36 million Americans developed an allergy to marijuana smoke.
Causing symptoms similar to those of other respiratory allergies, such as rhinitis, coughing, and sneezing, marijuana smoke can be a source of allergy for some people.
73% of pollen allergies sufferers react to cannabis as a pollen-bearing plant (the male marijuana plant) as noted in the seasonal allergies statistics.
29. Cannabis allergens are leaf-concentrated.
In a small study published by the NCBI, the predominant IgE reactivity in people tested for cannabis hypersensitivity was observed in the leaf extract. Yet, the exact allergens remain unknown. There are several molecules suspected to have allergenic characteristics, but they are yet to be officially determined and classified.
30. Marijuana allergy doesn’t necessarily mean CBD oil allergy.
Because it is a purified product of cannabis, CBD allergy reactions are statistically insignificant. CBD hypersensitivity symptoms include the development of skin irritations, migraines, and itchy eyes. Also, people sensitive to marijuana rarely have a CBD oil allergy.
31. Cannabis can cross-react with some foods, thus causing serious allergic reactions.
Tomato, peach, and hazelnut seem to trigger an allergic reaction. Both cannabis and these foods have cross-reacting allergens and proteins.
32. Interesting facts about allergies and cannabis: hemp seed ingestion is the most common cause of anaphylaxis.
Hemp too is a kind of cannabis. While cannabis allergy symptoms are associated with smoking it or touching the plant, the most dangerous cause of an allergy to cannabis is hemp seeds.
By the way, hemp seeds contain neither CBD or THC and are very much used in cooking.
33. Marijuana allergy symptoms include rash, hives, dry skin, itching, and redness.
They usually occur due to handling the plant. What is more, hemp dust from industrial processing contributes to can cause respiratory issues, a sore throat, itchy eyes, and other problems typical for airborne allergens.
34. Is there any permanent cure for allergies? CBD shows potential as it attenuates chronic inflammation of allergies.
The inflammation processes involve complex mechanisms of cell mobility and chemical secretions in the affected tissues. Allergies are defined by an immune reaction to a benign substance which leads to inflammation.
Studies reveal that CBD decreases allergy symptoms and complications by suppressing certain points of the “inflammation chain.” Overall, cannabis has a unique effect on the immune system.
35. Cannabis sativa extract can help restore allergy-caused tissue damage.
Allergy statistics worldwide for 2019 show food allergies are on the rise, so perhaps cannabis could help.
A 2019 study exploring the mixture of CBD and THC in different ratios and their combined antioxidant potency discovered the formula with the strongest synergically combined antioxidant effect. Protective and healing properties are expected when treating chronic illnesses, including allergies.
Allergy statistics worldwide show that allergies are becoming a major public concern by the minute. Environmental factors such as climate change and pollution are indisputable factors in this global trend, but there are also factors closer to home, things we can do on an individual level to prevent allergies.
Allergy figures and facts encourage us to expose our children to the common allergens in the first year of their life, so we can substantially prevent their hypersensitivity. Basic allergy literacy can give us, and our loved ones, an advantage in the prevention and treatment of related conditions, and a chance to change these worrisome allergy statistics for the better.
Regarding cannabis, it can act in two ways. Cannabis can provoke a reaction, or prevent it. Fortunately, the latter should be more likely to happen.
What are the 10 most common allergies?
There are many different allergies that can affect patients, yet the most common types are those caused by the following allergens (from top to bottom):
- Dust mites
- Animal dander and cockroaches
- Fish and shellfish
- Bee stings
- Drugs such as penicillin or aspirin
What is the most common allergy?
Pollen allergy affects at least 20% of the world’s population and is considered the most common allergy on a global scale. What’s more, among US adults, shellfish allergy is the most prevalent of all the food allergies with as much as 2.9% of the population being affected by it, as per stats in 2019.
How many people die from allergies each year?
Although 5% of the US population has suffered an anaphylactic episode at least once in their lifetime, combined non-food and food allergy data show that death occurs rarely, in less than 1% of these cases.
The allergy-caused death rate in the US is estimated to be at 0.13 deaths per million each year, mostly due to late epinephrine administration.
What percentage of the population has a latex allergy?
Latex allergy is more common in people who are in regular contact with it, such as healthcare professionals, as well as people who have undergone a surgical procedure. As a result, the numbers vary — latex allergy is most prevalent in healthcare workers (9.7%), susceptible patients (7.2%), and the general population (at just 4.3%).
What percentage of the population has allergies?
Each year, around 50 million Americans have an allergic reaction of some sort, which represents a staggering 30% of the total US population.
To make matters worse, the global stats reveal an even more alarming figure — an estimated 44% of the global population has some type of allergy, which is nothing to sneeze at (no pun intended).
What percentage of the population is allergic to nuts?
Food allergy dataset shows that 1.8% of America’s adult population is allergic to peanuts, and another 1.2% is allergic to tree nuts, which (combined) accounts for 3% of the total US population.
In addition, children’s incidences are somewhat higher — between 4–8% are allergic to peanuts and another 2% are allergic to tree nuts.
How do you know what you’re allergic to?
In order to detect the cause of the patient’s allergic reaction, doctors compare the results of a skin prick test, patch test and/or blood test, following the initial physical exam. Some determination tests require the ingestion of a small amount of the suspected substance, usually in the presence of a specialist.
Food-elimination tests can also be prescribed for the determination of food allergens.
Do allergies go away with exposure?
There is a therapy for allergies called allergen-specific immunotherapy, which treats allergies by exposure. However, only certain types of allergies can be treated, such as allergies to grass, grain, weed, tree pollen, dust mites, and insect sting allergy (wasp and bee venom).
Exposure is provided by injections, sublingual or oral administration of the specially provided allergen extract. This type of therapy is proven as an effective treatment, but the results are not 100% guaranteed as they vary from one individual to another.
What food allergies can children outgrow?
More than one-quarter of US children with a history of food allergies outgrow their allergies. The reasons behind the different allergy reactions of children and their ability to outgrow them are still a debatable subject.
The most common food allergies that children can outgrow are milk, egg, and soy allergies. On the other hand, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish allergies persist throughout the patient’s life (for most of the time).
What are severe allergies?
Severe allergy is determined by the seriousness of the allergy symptoms that are experienced, or, in other words, the heaviness of the reaction to the allergen.
Severe allergies are recognized by symptoms such as itching of eyes and face, swelling of certain parts of the mouth and throat, cramps, vomiting, hives, and a blood pressure drop. The extreme allergic reaction defined by these symptoms is named anaphylaxis and if left untreated, it can be life-threatening.
Most often severe allergy is caused by pet dander, insect stings, aspirin, peanut, wheat, tree nuts, eggs, and milk.