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1998 to 2018 Saw Jump in Admissions for Food-Induced Anaphylaxis

U.K. data revealed decrease in case fatality rate during study period; cow’s milk responsible for 26 percent of deaths in school-aged children

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — From 1998 to 2018, there was an increase in hospital admissions for food-induced anaphylaxis in the United Kingdom, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in The BMJ.

Alessia Baseggio Conrado, Ph.D., from Imperial College London, and colleagues analyzed national data from 1998 to 2018 to describe trends in hospital admissions due to food anaphylaxis in the United Kingdom.

The researchers observed an increase in food anaphylaxis admissions between 1998 and 2018, from 1.23 to 4.04 per 100,000 population per year (annual increase of 5.7 percent). Children younger than 15 years had the largest increase in hospital admissions, from 2.1 to 9.2 admissions per 100,000 population per year (annual increase, 6.6 percent). For people aged 15 to 59 and 60 years and older, the annual increases were 5.9 and 2.1 percent, respectively. A total of 152 deaths were identified for which the fatal event was likely food-induced anaphylaxis. For confirmed and suspected fatal food anaphylaxis, the case fatality rate decreased (rate ratios, 0.931 and 0.970, respectively). Peanut or tree nut was the trigger in at least 46 percent of deaths. In school-aged children, cow’s milk was responsible for 26 percent of 66 deaths. There was a 336 percent increase in prescriptions for adrenaline autoinjectors during the same time period.

“More education is needed to highlight the specific risks posed by cow’s milk to people who are allergic to increase awareness among food businesses,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and publishing industries and received personal fees from providing expert testimony.

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