THE VAST AND GROWING PROBLEM OF ALLERGY
Allergy affects millions of Americans
The problem of allergy is vast and growing in the industrialized nations. Roughly 7.8% of people over 18 in the US have hay fever. Food allergies affect about 8%. 39% of children with food allergies have a history of severe reactions, and 30% have multiple allergies. Allergic rhinitis affects 10-30% of the population worldwide. The prevalence of anaphylaxis in the US population is estimated to be between 1.6 and 5.1%. Allergies command more than $24 billion dollars in the health care budget of the US and results, by some accounts, in as many as 4 million days of workdays lost. Respiratory allergies, including allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma, constitute major public health challenges and are often managed without precise diagnosis.