Estimates from a skin test survey suggest that allergies affect as many as 40 to 50 million people in the United States.1
Allergic diseases affect more than 20% of the U.S. population. 2

Allergic diseases are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the United States. 2

At least 35.9 million people in the United States have seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever).3

Over eight million visits to office-based physicians each year are attributed to allergic rhinitis.4

Immunotherapy is ultimately successful in up to 90% of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis and in 70 to 80% with perennial allergic rhinitis.5

In 1993, it was estimated that total cost associated with allergic rhinitis in the United States was $3.4 billion, of which $2.3 billion represents medications and $1.1 billion represents physician billing.

It is estimated that in 1998, increased absenteeism and reduced productivity due to allergies cost U.S. companies more than $250 million.7

Sinusitis develops in approximately 31 million Americans each year.8

People suffering from sinusitis miss an average of four days of work each year.8

There are more than 18 million office visits to primary care physicians resulting in a diagnosis of sinusitis annually.8

In 1996, overall health care expenditures attributable to sinusitis in the United States were estimated to be over $5.8 billion.9

There is an association between sinusitis and asthma. The incidence of sinusitis in asthmatic subjects ranges from 40 to 75%.8

Between 2 and 3% of hospitalized patients have allergic drug reactions.10

Allergic dermatitis (itchy rash) is the most common skin condition in children younger than 11 years of age. The percentage of children diagnosed with it has increased from 3% in the 1960’s to 10% in the 1990’s.11

Contact dermatitis and other eczema was diagnosed at over 7.1 million office visits to physicians and 430,000 hospital outpatient visits.12

Urticaria (hives) and angioedema (swelling of the deeper layers of the skin) together affect approximately 15% of the U.S. population every year.11

Approximately 100 people in the United States die each year from food-related anaphylaxis.13

Eight percent of children younger than six years experience food intolerances. Of this group, 2 to 4% appear to have allergic reactions to food.

In adults, an estimated 1 to 2% are sensitive to food or food additives.14

Peanut and/or tree nut (e.g. walnut, almond and cashew) allergy affects about three million Americans, or 1.1% of the population.15

At least 40 deaths occur annually in the United States from reactions to insect stings. 16

A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis occurs in 0.5 to 5% of the U.S. population as a result of insect stings.17

Venom immunotherapy prevents systemic reactions in stinging insect-sensitive patients 97% of the time.16

Between 1988 and 1992, latex allergy was estimated to affect 1,000 people.18


Gergen, P.J., Turkeltaub, P.C., Kaovar, M.G. “The Prevalence of Allergic Skin Reactivity to Eight Common Allergens in the U.S. Population: Results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1987) 800:669-79.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Task Force on Allergic Disorders. Executive Summary Report. (1998).

Nathan, R.A., Meltzer, E.O., Selner, J.C., Storms, W. “Prevalence of Allergic Rhinitis in the United States.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1997) 99:S808-14.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Advance Data 195. 1996.

Fireman, P. “The Most Common Allergy: Allergic Rhinitis.” The Allergy Report 1998; Discover Magazine (March 1998) S-13-14.

Storms, W., Meltzer, E., Nathan, R., Selner, J. “The Economic Impact of Allergic Rhinitis.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1997) 99:S820-4.

Hewitt Associates LLC. The Effects of Allergies in the Workplace. 1998.

“Parameters for the Diagnosis and Management of Sinusitis.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1998) 102:S107-S144.

Ray, N., Baraniuk, J., Thamer, M., Rinehart, C., Gergen P., Kaliner, M., Josephs, S., Pung, Y. “Healthcare expenditures for sinusitis in 1996: Contributions of asthma, rhinitis, and other airway disorders.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1999) 103:408-14.

Sullivan, T.J. “Drug Allergy.” Allergy Principles and Practice. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1993.

Horan, R.F., Schneider, L.C., Sheffer, A.L. “Allergic Disorders and Mastocytosis.” Journal of the American Medical Association. (1992) 268:2858-2868.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital and Health Statistics Series. (1996) Vol. 13, No. 134.

“Anaphylaxis in Schools and Other Childcare Settings.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. (1998) 102:173-76.

Sampson, H.A., Metcalfe, D.D. “Food Allergies.” Journal of the American Medical Association. (1992) 268:2840-5.

Sicherer, S., Mu?oz-Furlong, A., Wesley Burks, A., Sampson, H. “Prevalence of Peanut and Tree Nut Allergy in the United States Determined by a Random Digit Dial Telephone Survey.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1999) 103:559-62.

“Stinging Insect Hypersensitivity: A Practice Parameter.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1999) 103:963-980.

Valentine, M.D. “Anaphylaxis and Stinging Insect Hypersensitivity.” Journal of the American Medical Association (1992) 268:2830-2833.

Sussman, G.L., Beezhold, D.H. “Allergy to Latex Rubber.” Annals of Internal Medicine (1995) 122:43-46

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