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Allergies

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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 food-induced anaphylaxis.

  • 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 reactions.

  • 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.

  • Sinusitis


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