Emergency department visits and hospitalizations of children with severe food allergy reactions increased approximately 30% over 5 years in Illinois.
The results indicated hospital admissions for food-related anaphylaxis increased among all children, regardless of race or socioeconomic status.
“This study shows that severe food allergies are beginning to impact children of all races and income,” Ruchi S. Gupta, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a press release. “This is no longer primarily a disease of children who are white and/or from middle-to-high income families. Nobody is immune to it.”
Gupta and colleagues used hospital discharge data from the Illinois Hospital Association to identify ED visits and hospitalizations for food related anaphylaxis in state hospitals from 2008 to 2012.
The researchers noted an annual percent increase of 29.1% in the rate of ED visits and hospitalizations due to food-related anaphylaxis among children aged 0 to 19 years during the period.
ED visits and hospital admissions increased from 6.3 per 100,000 children in 2008 to 17.2 in 2012 (P < .001).
Hispanic children (44.3%, P < .001) and children with public insurance (30.2%, P < .001) had the highest annual percent increase in ED visits and hospital admissions.
Gupta, in the release, said it is important to make certain everyone is properly informed about food allergies and the dangers of anaphylaxis.
“Ensuring timely diagnosis by the physician and education about recognition and management of severe and potentially fatal reactions is critical,” she said. “We need targeted education to all families and public entities including schools, camps and restaurants because anaphylaxis can happen anywhere and at any time.” – by Ryan McDonald
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.