Anaphylactic reactions to food have been increasing at a staggering pace, rising 377 percent from 2007 to 2016, according to a new report from a national healthcare transparency group. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to food allergy, pointed to the new report from FAIR Health on Tuesday as further reinforcement of the serious public health issue that food allergy has become in the United States.
The report issued by FAIR Health, a national, independent nonprofit not affiliated with FARE, brings renewed attention to the potentially life-threatening nature of food allergy, which affects 15 million Americans including 1 in 13 children. FAIR Health used its database of more than 23 billion privately billed healthcare procedures nationwide to analyze private insurance claim lines with diagnoses of anaphylactic food reactions.
“This data is compelling, and it serves to reinforce the urgency of the food allergy epidemic,” said James R. Baker, Jr., MD, CEO and chief medical officer of FARE. “Prior studies have documented prevalence and emergency department visits related to food allergy. What we’re seeing here is definitive evidence about the dramatic rise in the number of severe, systemic and frightening allergic reactions that children and adults across the country experience every day.”
The striking increase in the number of anaphylactic reactions to food is a major concern, signaling the need to collectively strengthen efforts to educate patients and the community at large about the seriousness of food allergy and dedicate significantly more resources to food allergy research.
FARE, the world’s largest private funder of food allergy research, continues to address the urgent need for advancements in diagnostics and therapeutics by funding promising studies that will improve the lives of the millions affected by food allergies. In 2015-16 alone, FARE committed more than $7 million to research.
The report may be viewed here.