41 Amazing Allergy Statistics & Facts (2021 Edition)

Allergy Statistics

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 Facts and Allergy Statistics for 2021

  • 2/3 of children and 1/2 of adults that have asthma also have allergies.
  • Richmond, Virginia, is the worst place for people with allergies.
  • 250 million people have food allergies.
  • About 40% of children that have a food allergy are allergic to more than one type of food.
  • In 2020, FDA approved Palforzia as a treatment for peanut allergy in children.
  • Allergy statistics on pets report 3 in 10 Americans are allergic to cats and dogs.
  • 60% of people who live in urban areas and have asthma are allergic to cockroaches.
  • There is no proof that people with allergies are more susceptible to COVID-19.
  • Smoking marijuana can increase sensitivity to other allergens.
  • About 10% of people are allergic to marijuana.

Respiratory Allergy Facts and Stats 

Respiratory allergies occur when you breathe in allergens (things you are allergic to). This can be anything from pollen to animal dander or dust. How many people are affected by this condition?

1. 10%–30% of the adult population struggles with allergic rhinitis. 

(NCBI) (ACAI)

Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is the most common allergy that affects 10%–30% of the adult population and 40% of children worldwide. Its symptoms can be seasonal and perennial. When it comes to seasonal symptoms, they can appear in spring, summer, and at the beginning of fall. 

On the other hand, people with perennial symptoms will most likely experience its symptoms during the whole year.

2. Pollen allergy statistics report 10%–20% of Americans suffer from a ragweed allergy.

(AAFA) (AAFA)

Ragweed allergy, or the most common type of weed pollen allergy, starts in July, reaching its peak in mid-September. Its main symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, coughing, and eye swelling. 

Furthermore, ragweed statistics show that this plant grows in 49 US states, with the exception of Alaska. 

3. 40%–85% of people who suffer from (both) asthma and allergies are allergic to house dust mites (HDM), dust allergy statistics report. 

(NCBI)

2/3 of children and 1/2 of adults that have asthma also have allergies. What’s more, 5%–30% of the worldwide population shows HDM sensitivity, and 20 million Americans suffer from dust mite allergies.

4. Allergy decongestant pseudoephedrine is also a nerve stimulant.

(AAC)

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. 

5. Allergy statistics warn about respiratory allergies being more common among boys than girls.

(NHIS)

Based on the National Health Interview Survey, 11% of American boys and 8.1% of American girls suffer from respiratory allergies. The prevalence is highest among children between 12 and 17 (12.4%), and lowest at 0–4-year-olds (5%).

6. Allergy statistics by state show Richmond, Virginia, is the worst city for people with allergies.

(Statista) (AAFA) (Healthgrades)

Next to Richmond, Virginia, the most challenging cities for allergy sufferers are Scranton (Pennsylvania), Springfield (Massachusetts), which is also the worst city for people living with asthma, Hartford (Connecticut), and McAllen (Texas).

7. Durham, North Carolina is the best city for people with allergies. 

(AAFA)

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, if you suffer from allergies, you should consider living in the following US cities —Provo (Utah), Seattle (Washington State), Salt Lake City (Utah), and Stockton (California).

Food Allergies Facts and Stats

What are the most common food allergies, and how many people are affected by them?

8. The most common food allergy symptoms include wheezing, diarrhea, skin rash, and facial swelling.

(Medical News Today)

On the other hand, some people can experience a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The symptoms of anaphylaxis can appear immediately and become worse rapidly. Some of the most common are tachycardia, streaming eyes and nose, rapid swelling of the lips, face, throat, mouth, vomiting, and even losing consciousness. 

9. Food allergy statistics worldwide report that over 250 million people have food allergies.

(RTE)

In Europe alone, there are 17 million people who struggle with some form of a food allergy. 3% of adults and 6% of children are allergic to some type of food.

10. 32 million Americans struggle with food allergies. 

(NEAAI)  

In other words, 26 million adults and 6 million children in the US are allergic to some type of food. What are the top 8 allergens? 90% of allergies are associated with one of the following foods — fish, eggs, peanuts, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. 

11. Each year 200,000 Americans require medical attention due to food allergies.

(Allergy Amulet)

The treatment of food allergies can be expensive. In fact, about $25 billion in the US is spent each year only on kids’ therapies and testing.   

12. About 40% of children that have a food allergy are allergic to more than one type of food. 

(Allergy Amulet

The most common food allergies among children are peanuts, milk, shellfish, and tree nuts. The majority of kids is allergic to shellfish (8.2 million).

13. Allergy rates by country suggest that peanut allergies are most prevalent among American children.

(Business Insider)

The number of children who are allergic to peanuts has tripled in the last two decades. It’s estimated that 1.8 million American children have a peanut allergy. 

Canada, UK, and Australia also noted the rise in peanut allergy cases. However, Israel, China, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand, can’t claim the same. There the prevalence of peanut allergies is low. One of the suggested reasons could be that children are more exposed to peanuts containing food at an early age, even when they are babies.

14. Allergy statistics UK say the number of hospitalized children due to severe allergic reactions has increased by 72%.

(NARF)

From 2018 to 2019, 1,746 British children (18 years old and under) went to the hospital due to anaphylactic shock. This is a much higher number than the one reported in the period of 2013–14 when there were 1,015 hospitalization cases. 

London was a region with the highest increase of 167% in the number of hospitalized children (compared to 2013–14), up to 200% for some age groups. 

15. Peanut allergy death statistics confirm that less than 1% die from this allergy.

(Prevention) (Harvard Health Publishing)

Although they are somewhat common, peanut allergies rarely provoke anaphylaxis (5% of the population), which in some cases can be deadly. That said, epinephrine is the best treatment when it comes to anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). 

It stops its progression, and it reverses its symptoms. Not only is this the only first-line treatment, but it also needs to be injected right away if there is a suspicion of anaphylaxis.

16. More than 17% of Americans developed peanut allergies after turning 18.

(CNN Health)

There are 4.6 million adult people in the US who struggle with peanut allergies. More than 800,000 of them developed the mentioned allergy after turning 18. Likewise, peanut allergy statistics show that only 15%–20% of children will outgrow this allergy by adulthood.

17. The 8th most common food allergy is a tree nut allergy. 0.5%–1% of Americans suffer from it.

(AAAAI)

Tree nut allergy is linked to various nuts that grow on trees, like almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and pecans. It’s not to be mixed with a peanut allergy since peanuts don’t grow on trees. 

Nut allergy statistics indicate 30% of people who are allergic to peanuts also struggle with tree nuts allergies. Nevertheless, people with a tree nut allergy aren’t necessarily allergic to peanuts.

18. A lot of children eventually outgrow milk, soy, eggs, and wheat allergies.

(Allergy Amulet)

On a negative note, some studies show the process of outgrowing has become slower, compared to the previous decades. Thus, some children are still struggling with allergies even after the age of 5.

While most children outgrow their food allergies to egg, milk, soy, and wheat, allergy statistics imply that in a vast majority of cases, tree nuts, peanuts, and shellfish allergies are there to stay. 

19. 85 million people in the US avoid buying food that contains one of the nine most common allergens.

(FARE)

The nine most common food allergens are sesame, tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, and soy. What’s more, Americans spend $19 billion every year on food products that don’t contain the mentioned allergens. 

Food allergies statistics also say that 71% of shoppers check the food labels before buying, even if it takes spending up to 5 minutes on deciphering the label. Buying CBD oil is usually much less of a hassle though purchasing CBD gummies takes more time if you wish to find 100% natural, vegan CBD gummy bears.

20. Black American children are more likely to suffer from a fish and shellfish allergy than white children.

(Health Day)

Shellfish, fin fish allergy, and wheat allergy are more likely to be prevalent among Black American children, according to the results of one study conducted on 664 children (aged 12 and under) who suffer from food allergies.

Black children with a food allergy (especially shellfish allergy) are more prone to asthma too.   

21. Interesting food allergy facts say food allergies can be inherited.  

(HealthLinkBC) (Baptist Health)  

If a parent or a sibling has a food allergy, hay fever, asthma, or eczema, there’s a higher risk that the baby develops some form of a food allergy. However, this is not set in stone. The most commonly inherited allergies include pollen, dust mites, cow’s milk, eggs, and insects.

Facts about food allergies imply that breastfeeding can help prevent its development in babies.

22. Dining out is the second most frequent location in the US where people experience allergic reactions to food. 

(ScienceDirect)

The first location is one’s own home. Fast foods, cafes, and Asian restaurants are the most common places where people experience food allergies, particularly milk, peanut, and tree nuts. 

In fact, 26.6% of allergic reactions among diners occur despite the allergens being listed on the menu. 53.9% occurred even though the restaurant staff had previously been notified about the specific food allergy.

23. Results of food allergy statistics and research identify Bertucci’s as the best large allergy-friendly restaurant chain in the US.

(Allergy Eats)

Allergy Eats created a list of the best allergy-friendly restaurant chains (large and small) based on the customer reviews, the brand’s app, and website. 

The top five list of the large restaurant chains starts with the winner, Bertucci’s, followed by In-N-Out Burger, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Ninety-Nine Restaurant & Pub, and Chipotle Mexican Grill. 

The winner amongst the small restaurant chains is Burtons Grill, followed by 110 Grill, Flatbread Company, Glory Days Grill, and True Food Kitchen.

More Fun Allergies Stats and Facts

That there can be various other allergies besides respiratory and food allergies. While some of them are common, such as pet allergies, others are extremely rare. 

24. Pet allergy statistics report 3 in 10 Americans are allergic to cats and dogs.

(AAFA) (Mayo Clinic)

Allergens in animals can be found in their dander, fur, saliva, skin, urine, and sweat. Besides cats and dogs, people can be allergic to rodent pets (hamsters, guinea pigs) and rabbits. Although it’s not impossible, people are rarely allergic to animals without fur (e.g., reptiles). 

25. According to allergy statistics worldwide, 1 in 5 people has problems with cat allergies.   

(Allergic Living) (Purina)

In addition to that, this type of allergy is more common than a dog allergy due to the protein named Fel d1, that’s excreted in the cat’s saliva, urine, and skin. Fel d1 proteins are sticky and small, and it takes a lot of time for them to decompose and a lot of effort to remove them from your house, cat allergy statistics show.

26. Hypoallergenic dogs are the best choice of breed for people who have a dog allergy.

(Pumpkin Pet Care)

Hypoallergenic dogs have short coats, they shed less, and they don’t have hair, but owning one is not a guarantee that you won’t have an allergic reaction. You can, however, reduce the possibility. How? 

While many people believe that dogs’ hair and fur are the main causes of allergies, it’s the dander one should worry about. You can find dander on the dog’s coat or skin. That said, dogs with long fur will leave dander flying around, which means that the possibilities of an allergic reaction will be much higher. 

27. Judging by allergy statistics worldwide 2020, 1 in 23 million people has the rarest form of allergy—aquagenic urticaria. 

(Business Insider) (MDLinx)

Simply put, aquagenic urticaria is an allergic reaction to water that is triggered after contact with the skin. Bear in mind that people who suffer from this allergy can drink water, but when it comes to showering, sweating, raining, or crying, they might have an allergic reaction. 

The symptoms include itchy hives, aka urticaria, that, if the skin is dry, will fade away after 30–60 minutes.

28. In the US, medicine allergies are the deadliest.

(WebMD) (AAFA)

Allergy statistics indicate some of the most common allergy-provoking drugs include aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as insulin and anti-seizure drugs.

Also, 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.

29. The prevalence of allergic diseases worldwide is on the rise.

(AAAAI)

The main theory behind this claim is known as the “hygiene hypothesis.” In other words, it’s believed that children are not being exposed enough to germs that help the immune system make a difference between the good and the harmful irritants.

This theory is backed up by various studies conducted on people who live on farms that show people there are less likely to develop an allergy. 

On that note, other studies point out different factors and theories to explain why allergies are increasing that include asthma, antibiotics, high obesity rates, and Vitamin D deficiency.   

30. About 60% of urban dwellers with asthma are allergic to cockroaches.

(WebMD)

It’s believed that cockroaches infest 78% –98% of homes located in urbanized areas. Cockroach allergy is especially prevalent in the South due to the warmer climate. Allergens linked to the cockroaches include cockroach saliva, body, and waste.

31. In 2020, FDA approved Palforzia as a treatment for peanut allergy in children.

(FDA)

Peanut allergy facts show that Palforzia is a beneficial treatment intended for children between the age of 4 and 17 who have a peanut allergy. On that note, even with the treatment, children still need to avoid peanuts in their diets. The treatment includes three phases — initial dose escalation, up-dosing, and maintenance.  

Keep in mind that individuals who have uncontrolled asthma should not take Palforzia. The same rule applies to anaphylaxis. In other words, Palforzia can’t be used as an emergency treatment.

Allergy vs Coronavirus 

Are people with allergies at a higher risk of conducting coronavirus, and what are the differences between the symptoms?

32. There is no proof that people with allergies are more susceptible to COVID-19.

(Weill Cornell Medicine)

Given that coronavirus is linked to the compromised immune system, you’d assume that people who suffer from allergies would be at a higher risk of conducting the virus. However, numerous allergies facts confirm that allergies per se are not associated with a compromised immune system. 

As a matter of fact, when an allergic person encounters an allergen (e.g., dust, pollen), the immune system will do the opposite; it will overreact

33. Allergies and coronavirus are associated with different symptoms.

(Healthline)

Itchy eyes, sneezing, and the drooling nose is not a definite sign that COVID-19 has infected you. These symptoms are usually listed as common in allergy facts. In contrast, coronavirus’s most common symptom is shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, and fever.

To distinguish coronavirus and allergy symptoms, you should know that COVID-19 is an acute illness. In other words, before the symptoms start appearing, people will feel healthy, as opposed to allergies that are a chronic disease, which means that one feels allergy symptoms every week or month, going on and off, depending on its type. 

34. Both coronavirus and allergy symptoms include dry cough.

(MITMedicinal)

Allergy cough vs coronavirus cough, how to make a distinction? People who feel a “tickle” or an “itch” in their throat are most likely to suffer from an allergy, especially if it’s followed by a runny nose. On the other hand, dry cough in combination with body aches is not connected with allergies.

Other symptoms that are exclusively linked to allergies include nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and sneezing. The mentioned symptoms are rarely linked to covid symptoms. 

Latest Facts About Allergies and Cannabis

How does cannabis fare in these stats and facts?

35. Smoking marijuana can increase sensitivity to other allergens.

(NCBI)

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. 

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. 

36. Allergy statistics reveal about 10% of people are allergic to marijuana.

(Chicago Tribune) (Medical News Today) (AAAAI)

Since there are still no standard procedures that deal with marijuana allergy tests, allergists use buds, leaves, and marijuana flower extracts together with prick skin tests, to make a diagnosis.

Cannabis allergy symptoms can include hives, rashes, angioedema (swellings), sneezing, runny nose, and watering eyes. A person may experience an outbreak if they touch, smell, or eat the plant. 

Anaphylaxis can also occur if hempseed is ingested.

37. Interesting facts about allergies and cannabis show hemp seed ingestion is the most common cause of anaphylaxis.

(AAAAI)

Hemp too is a kind of cannabis. While cannabis allergy symptoms are usually  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 nor THC and are very much used in cooking.

38. Cannabis allergens are leaf-concentrated.

(NCBI)

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.

39. Food allergy stats show cannabis can cross-react with some foods, thus causing serious allergic reactions.

(AAAAI)

Tomato, peach, and hazelnut seem to trigger an allergic reaction. Both cannabis and these foods have cross-reacting allergens and proteins. More research is needed to fully confirm the claim.

40. Is there any permanent cure for allergies? CBD shows potential as it attenuates chronic inflammation of allergies.

(NCBI) (NCBI)

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.

41. Cannabis sativa extract can help restore allergy-caused tissue damage. 

(NCBI)

Allergy statistics worldwide from 2019 showed that food allergies are on the rise, so how can cannabis 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.

Final Words

Allergies are becoming a major public concern by the minute, allergy statistics worldwide show. 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 encourage us to expose our children to the common allergens in the first year of their life, so we can substantially prevent their hypersensitivity. Regarding cannabis, it can act in two ways — it can provoke a reaction, or prevent it. As for coronavirus, cough can be a mutual symptom.

Fortunately, CBD research should decrease the rates provided more research is approved.

FAQs

What are the 10 most common allergies?

Food allergies, environmental allergies, and drug allergies are the most usual allergies. Here are some of the most common allergens that can provoke an allergic reaction:

  1. Gluten (bread, pasta, and cereals)
  2. Eggs (crepes, mayonnaise, meringue, eggnog)
  3. Peanuts
  4. Milk (not to be mixed with lactose intolerance since it’s an entirely different thing)
  5. Shellfish 
  6. Animal dander
  7. Pollen
  8. Dust mite
  9. Mold
  10. Sulfite (medication that contains sulfa compounds)

What is the most common allergy?

Allergic rhinitis or hay fever can be considered to be the most common allergy in the world. In fact, 10%–30% of the adult population struggles with this type of allergy, in addition to 40% of children. 

How many people die from food allergies each year?

According to the National Food Death Allergy Registry data, there were eight allergy-related deaths in 2019 and five recorded deaths in 2018. 

Other studies report that less than 1% of people who suffer from peanut allergy die from anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction).

What percentage of the population has a latex allergy?

Less than 1% of Americans struggle with latex allergies. Take into account that this is a rare allergy that’s most often linked to certain risk groups like children with spina bifida or healthcare workers and others who use latex on a regular basis. 

3 in 5 children who are diagnosed with this condition are allergic to latex and 8%–17% of health care workers or people who often use latex. 

What percentage of the population has allergies?

Each year, over 50 million Americans have an allergic reaction of some sort, which represents a staggering 30% of the adult US population. In a like manner, 40% of American children struggle with some form of allergy.  

On the other hand, the global stats reveal a rise in allergies over the past few decades, and the highest growth was noted in the West. 

What percentage of the population is allergic to nuts?

0.5%–1% of Americans are allergic to nuts. To clarify, nut allergy and peanut allergy are not the same. Nut allergy is associated with nuts that grow on trees (pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts), while peanuts are legumes that grow underground. 

This allergy usually occurs during childhood, and 10% of children will outgrow it by the time they reach adulthood. Another key point we need to mention is that 30% of people with a peanut allergy will also have a nut allergy.  

Are allergies more common now?

Yes, indeed. There has been an increase in food allergies and the range of allergens (foods that people are allergic to). Many theories are trying to explain this increase. One of them is the “hygiene hypothesis,” which suggests children should be exposed to germs more often to help the immune system, although many research types contradict this theory.

In a similar fashion, scientists suggest that parents should expose their children to allergenic foods as soon as possible.

How do you know what your body is 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?

Some allergies might. 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). The therapy lasts for about three years.

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?

Milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts are the most common allergens that cause allergic reactions in children. Most children will outgrow these allergens in the long run, some easier than others. 

For example, about 80% of children outgrow their allergy to milk, wheat, and soy by the time they are 5. About two-thirds of children who have an egg allergy outgrow it too. Then again, other allergies that we mentioned might take more time.

What are severe allergies?

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. 

Allergy statistics suggest that most often severe allergy is caused by pet dander, insect stings, aspirin, peanut, wheat, tree nuts, eggs, and milk. 

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