US Pharm. 2014;39(3):49-50.

Children’s food allergies are slowly increasing overall, but they may be as much as doubling among black children. According to a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, self-reported food allergy nearly doubled in black children over 23 years.

“Our research found a striking food allergy trend that needs to be further evaluated to discover the cause,” said Corinne Keet, MD, MS, lead study author and assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. “Although African Americans generally have higher levels of IgE, the antibody the immune system creates more of when one has an allergy, it is only recently that they have reported food allergy more frequently than white children. Whether the observed increase is due to better recognition of food allergy or is related to environmental changes remains an open question.”

Researchers analyzed 452,237 children from 1988 to 2011. Of these children, it was found food allergy increased among black children at a rate of 2.1% per decade, 1.2% among Hispanics, and 1% among whites.