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Food Allergy
  Quick Facts
  What Is Food Allergy?
  Food Intolerance?
 Clinical Practice Guidelines

Food Allergy

Quick Facts

  • Food allergy occurs in 6-8 percent of children 4 years of age or under, and in 3.7 percent of adults.
  • In young children, the prevalence of allergy to cow’s milk is 1.9-3.2 percent and allergy to egg is 2.6 percent.
  • Allergy to peanuts and tree nuts in the general population is, respectively, 0.6% and 0.4%, with the rate in children of age <18 (0.8% and 0.2%) slightly different from adults (0.6% and 0.5% respectively) These two foods are the leading causes of fatal and near fatal food-allergic reactions.
  • Despite attempts to avoid foods, accidents are the major causes of allergic reactions to foods. Over a period of 2 years, approximately 50% of subjects in the United States with food allergy have an allergic reaction to accidental exposure
  • In the United States, there are approximately 30,000 episodes of food-induced anaphylaxis, associated with 100-200 deaths; most deaths occur in adolescents and young adults.
  • The prevalence of seafood allergy in the general population is 2.3% and represents the commonest form of food allergy in adults.
  • The prevalence in the general population is 0.4% to fish, 2.0% to shellfish and 0.2% to both. Seafood allergy is less common in children (0.6%) than adults (2.8%).
  • Food allergy is the most frequent single cause of emergency room visits for anaphylaxis, and accounts for 34 to 52 percent of these visits. 

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