Food allergy-related hospital visits on the rise

December 30, 2010 1:46:58 PM PST
Food allergies may be sending more people to the hospital than previously thought.

Researchers are now estimating that about 200,000 Americans go to the emergency room each year because of a reaction to food.

That includes an estimated 90,000 visits for sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions know as anaphylaxis.

The study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology does not explain why the numbers are up, but it coincides with an increase in the number of food allergies being diagnosed.

One theory is that changes in children's diets may be a contributor.

The most common triggers include milk, eggs, soy, wheat, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts such as almonds and walnuts.