Peanut Allergy Cases Triple in Just One Decade

Cases of peanut allergy in children more than tripled between 1997 and 2008, and more than 3 million Americans currently suffer from some form of nut allergy.

Researchers surveyed 5,300 households in 2008 -- a total of more than 13,500 individuals -- and compared the numbers with those from the same survey conducted in 1997. In 2008, 1.4 percent of children had peanut allergies, compared with just 0.4 percent in 1997.

According to Live Science:

“One idea for the cause called the hygiene hypothesis posits we're too clean. Squeaky-clean living and the use of medications to prevent and quickly treat infections leaves the immune system under-stimulated.”

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