CDC reports on prevalence of seasonal and food allergies, eczema

CDC reports on prevalence of seasonal and food allergies, eczema

In two January data briefs published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics, data are presented regarding the prevalence of seasonal allergy, eczema, and food allergy among children and adults in 2021.

Benjamin Zablotsky, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the 2021 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to describe the percentage of children who had diagnosed seasonal allergy, eczema, or food allergy. The researchers found that 18.9, 10.8 and 5.8 percent had a seasonal allergy, eczema, and a food allergy, respectively, in 2021.

The likelihood of having a seasonal allergy was higher for boys than girls (20.0 versus 17.7 percent). There was variation observed by age in the percentage of children with eczema (10.4, 12.1, and 9.8 percent in children aged 0 to 5, 6 to 11, and 12 to 17 years, respectively). The likelihood of having a food allergy was increased for non-Hispanic Black versus non-Hispanic White and Hispanic children.

Amanda E. Ng, M.P.H., and Peter Boersma, M.P.H., both from the National Center for Health Statistics, used 2021 NHIS data to describe the prevalence of seasonal allergy, eczema, or food allergy among adults. The researchers found that 25.7, 7.3, and 6.2 percent of adults had a seasonal allergy, eczema, and a food allergy, respectively, in 2021.

Compared with Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic Asian adults, the percentage of adults with a seasonal allergy was higher in non-Hispanic White adults. Women were more likely than men to have eczema (8.9 versus 5.7 percent). With increasing age, the prevalence of food allergy decreased.

“For all three allergies, women were more likely than men to have a diagnosed allergy,” Ng and Boersma write.

More information:
Data Brief—Children

Data Brief—Adults

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