Australia “Food Allergy Capital of the World”

By Danielle Pope

Australia “Food Allergy Capital of the World”
Recent studies show the situation regarding allergies is improving slightly, though Australia still stands out

If you feel like you are hearing more and more about food allergies, it’s because there are more and more cases of them. Now, a new study conducted by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute shows that Australia has the unenviable status of being the “food allergy capital of the world.”

Published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the claim is made specifically in relation to the rate of food allergies recorded for one year olds, which is higher in Australia than in international reports.

A silver lining is found in that the research also showed that nearly two-thirds of children will outgrow their food allergy by their fourth birthday. While more than 11 per cent of the one year olds in the study were found to have a challenge-confirmed food allergy, this amount dropped to just 3.8% among four year olds.

The biggest decline was among those with egg allergies, which dropped from 9.5 per cent among one year olds to 1.2 per cent among four year olds. Peanut allergy fell from 3.1 per cent to 1.9 per cent, but was still the most prevalent food allergy among four year old children.

Despite this decline, the fact remains that the prevalence of allergies was particularly high in Australia.

The research also showed that 10.8 per cent of Australian four year olds have asthma, 16 per cent have hayfever.

A Galaxy Research Poll commissioned by Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia suggests that 85 per cent of Australian adults do not know the signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to food, as reported by the SMH.

If you are unsure if someone is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, seek medical advice. In an emergency call 000

For more information see the Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia website



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