Who is Affected by Allergies?
Allergic disease affects up to 40 percent of Australian children, and the incidence continues to rise at an alarming rate. Food allergy is a serious public health issue, emerging over the last 10 - 15 years as a 'second wave' of allergy epidemic. It is unclear why this new phenomenon of allergies has lagged decades behind the 'first wave' of asthma, hay fever and inhalant sensitization. Hospital admissions for anaphylaxis, the most severe form of food allergy has trebled in the past 15 years. This new generation appears less likely to outgrow food allergy with long-term implications for allergic disease burden into later life.
Allergies and Asthma
Emerging evidence also suggests the IgE-mediated food allergy is a predictor not only for the development of asthma but also appears to increase the risk of poorly controlled asthma. The prevalence of asthma in Australia is among the highest in the world, affecting between 10% and 15% of children. This study aims to determine prevalence and associated risk for food allergy in school-aged children, assess impact of food allergy on risk of asthma and severity of asthmatic children and understand factors likely to modify control of both food allergy and asthma.