FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) — An estimated 0.49 percent of the U.S. population reports a current sesame allergy, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in JAMA Network Open.

Christopher M. Warren, Ph.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues assessed findings of web-based and telephone-based allergy questionnaires to estimate the prevalence, severity, distribution, and clinical characteristics of sesame allergy. Responses were included from 40,453 adults and 38,408 children.

The researchers found that an estimated 0.49 and 0.23 percent of the U.S. population reported a current sesame allergy and met symptom-report criteria for convincing immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergy, respectively. In addition, 0.11 percent had a physician-diagnosed sesame allergy but did not report reactions fulfilling survey-specified convincing reaction symptoms. An estimated 23.6 to 37.2 percent of the individuals with convincing IgE-mediated sesame allergy had previously experienced a severe sesame allergic reaction; at least one additional convincing food allergy was reported by 81.6 percent of patients with convincing sesame allergy. Overall, 33.7 percent of patients with convincing sesame allergy reported previous epinephrine use for treatment of sesame allergy.

“We believe these data, which demonstrate a substantial and likely growing burden of sesame allergy in the United States, provide valuable context to physicians, policy makers, and other key stakeholders in their efforts to evaluate and reduce the public health burden of sesame allergy,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and medical technology industries.

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