May 13, 2010

DIAGNOSIS IS NOT DISEASE:

Peanut Allergy Cases Triple in 10 Years (Jeanna Bryner, 5/13/10, LiveScience)

More than 3 million Americans now have some kind of nut allergy, with cases of peanut allergy in children more than tripling between 1997 and 2008, according to a report released this week.

"These results show that there is an alarming increase in peanut allergies, consistent with a general, although less dramatic, rise in food allergies among children in studies reported by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]," said lead researcher Dr. Scott Sicherer, professor of pediatrics at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "The data underscore the need for more study of these dangerous allergies."


That's not what needs to be studied--parents and doctors should be.

MORE:
Speaking of which, Doubt Is Cast on Many Reports of Food Allergies (GINA KOLATA, 5/11/10, NY Times)

Many who think they have food allergies actually do not.

A new report, commissioned by the federal government, finds the field is rife with poorly done studies, misdiagnoses and tests that can give misleading results.

While there is no doubt that people can be allergic to certain foods, with reproducible responses ranging from a rash to a severe life-threatening reaction, the true incidence of food allergies is only about 8 percent for children and less than 5 percent for adults, said Dr. Marc Riedl, an author of the new paper and an allergist and immunologist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Yet about 30 percent of the population believe they have food allergies. And, Dr. Riedl said, about half the patients coming to his clinic because they had been told they had a food allergy did not really have one.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 13, 2010 2:56 PM
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