Author(s): Sicherer SH, MuozFurlong A, Godbold JH, Sampson HA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Allergy to peanuts and tree nuts (TNs) is the leading cause of fatal allergic reactions in the United States, and the prevalence appears to be increasing. OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the US prevalence of self-reported peanut, TN, and sesame allergy in 2008 and compare results with comparable surveys conducted in 1997 and 2002. METHODS: A nationwide, cross-sectional, random telephone survey for peanut and TN allergy was conducted with a previously used questionnaire, with additional questions about sesame. RESULTS: A total of 5,300 households (13,534 subjects) were surveyed (participation rate, 42\% vs 52\% in 2002 and 67\% in 1997). Peanut allergy, TN allergy, or both was reported by 1.4\% of subjects (95\% CI, 1.2\% to 1.6\%) compared with 1.2\% in 2002 and 1.4\% in 1997. For adults, the prevalence was 1.3\% (95\% CI, 1.1\% to 1.6\%), which was not significantly different from prior surveys. However, the prevalence of peanut or TN allergy for children younger than 18 years was 2.1\% (95\% CI, 1.6\% to 2.7\%) compared with 1.2\% in 2002 (P = .007) and 0.6\% in 1997 (P < .001). The prevalence of peanut allergy in children in 2008 was 1.4\% (95\% CI, 1.0\% to 1.9\%) compared with 0.8\% in 2002 (P = not significant) and 0.4\% in 1997 (P < .0001). The prevalence of childhood TN allergy increased significantly across the survey waves (1.1\% in 2008, 0.5\% in 2002, and 0.2\% in 1997). Sesame allergy was reported by 0.1\% (95\% CI, 0.0\% to 0.2\%). CONCLUSIONS: Although caution is required in comparing surveys, peanut allergy, TN allergy, or both continue to be reported by more than 1\% of the US population (eg, >3 million subjects) and appear to be increasingly reported among children over the past decade. Sesame allergy is reported much less commonly. Copyright (c) 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Allergy Clin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics