Australians are increasingly being hospitalised for severe and life-threatening allergic reactions, known as anaphylaxis, researchers from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne have found.
Researchers analysed 14 years of hospital data to 2012, extracting admissions for anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis admission rates increased by 50% over this period, they found. Rates increased rapidly in the final half of the period, with 5.6 people per 100,000 hospitalised with food anaphylaxis in 2005, compared with 8.2 by 2012.
It revealed an urgent need to research and implement strategies thought to prevent food allergies from developing, and to prevent those with allergies from being exposed to triggers, the study published on Wednesday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology concluded.
A co-author of the study, Professor Mimi Tang, said the researchers also found the most rapid growth in admission rates came from the five to 14-year-old age group, which had increased 110% by 2012 . One in every five hospital admissions in this age group was to treat anaphylaxis.
So, what does it take to convince the human race that something appears to be up, immune-wise?