Food allergies cost $500 million a year

Food allergies cost $500 million a year, says study

 

Doctor visits, hospital care and lost work days account for the price tag

Reuters May 5, 2011

Visits to the doctor’s office make up the bulk of the medical costs, researchers estimate, amounting to at least $118 million.

Food allergies among children have climbed 18 percent from 1997 to 2007, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hay fever? Don’t forget to check your plate

Today, about four of every 100 Americans suffer from the exaggerated immune response, which can be triggered by peanuts, milk, eggs and other products.

Using several databases, the researchers tallied up the cost of emergency room care, hospitalizations, and visits to the physician’s office for allergic reactions. They then used those numbers to estimate the nationwide cost of treatment and reported their results in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Total medical costs ranged from $225 million to $307 million, depending on the type of calculation the researchers performed.

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