By David G. Bunning and Dr. Thomas Casale
There’s nothing more terrifying than seeing your child, friend, or loved one stop breathing. However, millions of people across the country live with this fear every day. Once considered rare, food allergies now affect more than 32 million Americans. The number of children with food allergies has doubled to approximately 5.6 million in less than two decades and at the same time, adult food allergies are also on the rise. It’s not just children with food allergies maturing into adulthood that is driving the increase; of the more than 26 million U.S. adults with food allergies, nearly half developed at least one allergy in adulthood.
The growing prevalence of food allergies over the last two decades is also affecting America’s economy. Medical claims for the treatment of anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction, have increased 377 percent from 2007 to 2016. The annual costs of childhood food allergy are estimated at $24.8 billion. This financial burden, coupled with the emotional stress that the fear, anxiety, vigilance, and isolation that patients and families of children with food allergies shoulder, negatively impact work productivity and, more importantly, quality of life.[Read More…] about Finding a Cure for the Food Allergy Public Health Crisis