AllergiesPage 1 of 5
Allergy Symptoms and Allergy Relief
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergic diseases and their associated allergy symptoms. A recent nationwide survey found that more than half (54.6 percent) of all U.S citizens test positive to one or more allergens; among specific allergens, dust mite, rye, ragweed, or cockroach caused sensitization in approximately 25 percent of the population.
Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the United States, costing the health care system $18 billion annually.
Two estimates of prevalence of allergies, specifically, allergic rhino conjunctivitis (hay fever) in the United States are 9 percent and 16 percent. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis has increased substantially over the past 15 years.
In 2002, approximately 14 million office visits to health care providers of patients seeking allergy relief were attributed to allergic rhinitis.
Estimates of the prevalence of allergies to latex allergens in the general population vary widely, from less than 1 percent to 6 percent.
Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases, particularly in
infants and children. The estimated prevalence in the United States varies from
9 to 30 percent. The prevalence of atopic
dermatitis appears to be increasing.
Health care provider visits for contact dermatitis and other eczemas, which
include atopic dermatitis, are 7 million per year.
Chronic sinusitis is the most commonly reported chronic disease, affecting 16.3
percent of people (nearly 32 million) in the United States in 1997.
In 1996, estimated U.S. health care expenditures attributable to sinusitis were
approximately $5.8 billion.
Experts estimate food allergy occurs in 6 to 8 percent of children 4 years of
age or under, and in 4 percent of adults. Approximately
150 Americans, usually adolescents and young adults, die annually from
Peanut or tree nut allergies affect approximately 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent of
Americans, respectively, and cause the most severe food-induced allergic
Allergic drug reactions account for 5 to 10 percent of all adverse drug
reactions, with skin reaction being the most common form.
Penicillin is a common cause of drug allergy. Approximately 7 percent of normal
volunteers react to penicillin allergy skin tests (IgE antibodies) .
While the true number of deaths from drug reactions is unknown, anaphylactic
reactions to penicillin occur in 32 of every 100,000 exposed patients.
Acute urticaria (hives) is common, affecting 10 to 20 percent of the population
at some time in their lives. Half of those affected continue to have symptoms
for more than 6 months.
Allergy to venom of stinging insects (honeybees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets,
and fire ants) is relatively common, with prevalence of systemic reactions in 3
percent of American and 1 percent of children. Between 40
and 100 Americans have been reported to die annually from anaphylaxis to
insects, although this number may be markedly underestimated.