What is Causing the High Rate of ER Trips for Food Allergies?

Food allergies may send more Americans to emergency rooms each year than was previously believed. Researchers estimate that between the years 2001 and 2005, Americans made over a million visits to the ER for allergic reactions to food -- that averages to about 200,000 ER trips each year, much higher than the 30,000 which had been the oft-quoted number before the most recent research came out.

The current study is based on different data sources than earlier analyses. The researchers used figures from an annual government survey of hospitals, along with two recent medical studies.

Reuters reports:

"But it's also possible that a growing number of Americans have been heading to the ER for food reactions in more recent years ... more children are turning up in ERs with serious food reactions than in years past. The number of food-induced allergic reactions treated at Children's Hospital Boston, for example, more than doubled over six years".

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