The documented rise in the frequency of allergy illness in several countries over the last three decades has heightened interest in the epidemiology of severe allergic responses. Researchers examine the challenges of obtaining and understanding these data, as well as the shortcomings of existing data collection methods. Anaphylaxis, as assessed by hospital admission rates, is relatively uncommon and has grown over the previous 10–20 years in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia. All big datasets are hindered by a high number of uncoded, ‘unspecified’ anaphylactic causes. Fatal anaphylaxis is still an uncommon occurrence, although it looks to be on the rise in Australia, Canada, and the United States. The risk of fatal food anaphylaxis remains constant in the UK and the US, while it has grown in Australia. The age distribution for fatal food anaphylaxis differs from that of other causes, with evidence indicating an age-related proclivity to fatal results in adolescents and people into their forties.

The rising prevalence of food and drug allergies has serious implications for future mortality trends. Improved capacity to collect and analyze population-level anaphylaxis data in a consistent manner is necessary to ultimately reduce risk and enhance management.