Adult-Onset Food Allergies Are on the Rise
About 45 percent of all adults with food allergies who were surveyed reported at least one adult-onset food allergy, according to new research presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston. These findings are surprising, as food allergies usually develop during childhood.
Other recent studies also indicate that food allergy incidence is increasing in children and adults of all ethnicities. The most common adult food allergy is to shellfish, which affects 3.6 percent of U.S. adults, an increase of 44 percent since 2004. Tree-nut allergies have also increased in adults – by 260 percent since 2004 – to 1.8 percent.
In the United States, adult food allergies are more common in African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics than in whites. According to researchers, many adults do not recognize adult-onset food allergies and mistakenly attribute reactions to a specific food as a food intolerance.