Are food allergies becoming more common? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Consequences of food allergies can be life-threatening, which is why FDA approval of omalizumab to treat them is welcome. Robert Wood, one author of a study used to inform the agency’s decision and an allergy expert at Johns Hopkins, says it’s not your imagination: food allergies are more common than they used to be.

Wood: Estimated prevalence for children it's somewhere around 8% of all kids have true food allergy. That is probably twice as high as it was 30 years ago, I'd say probably because it's hard to compare studies head-to-head, but the estimates are somewhere at least 17,000,000 Americans it's actually a little more common in adults than it is in children so we talk about you know one out of every six children in any grade school classroom have true food allergy.   :26

Wood says before this drug was approved avoidance of the foods one was allergic to was the primary means to reduce risk, and those with such allergies were advised to always carry epinephrine in case of an allergic reaction. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.