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More adults allergic to peanuts than kids, study details prevalence of allergen

Skin patch could help kids with peanut allergies
Posted at 1:07 PM, Mar 01, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. — A recent study is showing how prevalent a peanut allergy is in adults compared to kids.

The prevalence of a peanut allergy in adults is 1.8%, while in children it is 2.2%, according to a new study by the Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research.

“But if you look at the number of adults, compared to children, there are more adults in this in this country than there are children. I think we're just seeing all the children who we have this increase in peanut allergy that has been going on, through the ages and now they're all adults,” said Dr. Heather Cassell, a specialist in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Banner Health.

Cassel says with so many allergy tests on the market try not to self-diagnose. A lot of those unregulated tests may give out false positives.

“The most important thing with a food allergy is that it has to have a certain type of immediate reaction. If we're talking about an IGE immediate reaction, it really should be you know, usually within 30 minutes to two hours of ingesting the food,” said Cassell.

And in the case you do have a reaction, such as hives or itching in your throat, seek assistance from an allergist who can provide testing and an EpiPen.

“Because, ultimately that's the way you treat reactions, it's not with an antihistamine Benadryl or anything like that it's really if it's something that's a systemic reaction, they need to have that, in order to save their life potentially.

The ultimate outcome of this study to me was that there's probably this growing population of adults who are unidentified or incorrectly identified as having a food allergy,” said Cassell.

Cassell advises if you do believe you have a food allergy see a board-certified allergist who can properly diagnose you.

This story was first published by Taja Davis at KGUN.