Allergy and asthma are among the most common heath problems, with more than 50 million people afflicted with asthma, seasonal hay fever, or other allergy-related conditions each year.

Picture of young boy sitting in a field of wild flowers

Allergies can affect anyone. Generally, allergies are more common in children; however, a first-time occurrence can happen at any age, or recur after many years of remission.

There is a tendency for allergies to occur in families, although the exact genetic factors that cause it are not yet understood.

Food allergies are seen in 4.7 percent of children under age five, and in 18 percent under age 18.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, if only one parent has allergies, there is a 50 percent chance that each child will have an allergy. If both parents have allergies, it is much more likely (75 percent chance) that their children will have allergies.

According to the latest available statistics from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, allergic problems in the US are the sixth leading common cause of chronic disease.

Nearly 23 million people in the US have been diagnosed with asthma, with at least 6.8 million of them children under the age of 18.

Asthma is the third ranking cause of childhood hospitalizations under the age of 15.


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