4.5 million Americans affected: Peanut allergies often don’t develop until adulthood, study shows

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Credit: Gwenda Kaczor
Credit: Gwenda Kaczor

[A] report, believed to be the first to provide an estimate of peanut allergy in adults, suggests that at least 4.5 million adults in the U.S. are impacted by the allergy.

“Unlike allergies such as milk or egg, which often develop early in life and are outgrown by adolescence, peanut allergy appears to affect children and adults to a similar degree,” Christopher Warren, director of population health at Feinberg’s Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research and co-first author said, according to a news release posted on Eurekalert.org.  “Our study shows many adults are not outgrowing their childhood peanut allergies, and many adults are developing peanut allergies for the first time.”

The researchers also noted that the only approved therapy for peanut allergy is aimed at pediatric patients up to age 17 and called for more research into adult patients and additional therapies.

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“Given the high prevalence of peanut allergy among U.S. adults, additional therapies are needed to help address this growing burden of disease,” Dr. Ruchi Gupta, study author and professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, said in the Eurekalert.org news release.

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