NHS hospitals in England dealt with 20,320 admissions for allergies in the 12 months to February. This represents a 7.7 per cent increase from 18,860 for the previous 12 months new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show.
The rate of admissions for allergies for both genders is highest in those aged 0-4 and it is higher in males than in females in this age group.
The rate for both genders generally decreases with age with a higher rate of admissions in females than in males in older age bands
Today’s report also shows that 61.8 per cent (12,560) of admissions due to allergic reactions were emergencies, a 6.2 per cent increase (730) on the same period last year (11,830).
Nearly one in five (4070) of admissions were for anaphylactic reactions, an increase of 9.9 per cent (370) from the same period last year.
The Birmingham and the Black Country Area Team had the highest rate of admissions for anaphylactic reactions at 11.2 per 100,000 of the population. Merseyside Area Team was found to have the lowest at 5.1 per 100,000 of the population.
In the 12 months to February 2014:
- Admissions for allergic rhinitis increased by 10.9 per cent in males and 13.3 per cent in females from the previous 12 month period.
- 93.7 per cent of these allergic rhinitis admissions were elective
– of these 62.9 per cent underwent subcutaneous immunotherapy treatment.
- Hospital admissions for food allergies increased by 6.4 per cent.
HSCIC also publishes prescribing information, which sheds further insight on the treatment of allergies.
Prescribing information for the 12 months to February 2014 shows that the rate of prescribing emergency adrenaline products was 353 per 100,000 head of the population, one item per 283 people.
These products can be used for the immediate treatment of a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis.
The highest rate of dispensed emergency adrenaline products in England was in the Surrey and Sussex Area Team at 542.4 items per 100,000, of the population. Greater Manchester had Area Team has the lowest rate with only 183.8 items per 100,000.”
Chair of the HSCIC, Kingsley Manning said: “The statistics we are publishing today provides fresh insight into hospital admissions for allergies, which have increased by almost eight per cent in the last year.
“In the 12 months to February, 61.8 per cent of all allergy related hospital admissions were emergencies, a rise of just over six per cent.
“This vital information on allergy admissions in England paints a clear picture for policy makers of the scale of hospital in patient care for these conditions.”
Anaphylaxis Campaign CEO, Lynne Regent said: "As the only UK charity supporting people affected by severe allergies and anaphylaxis, the Anaphylaxis Campaign welcomes the publishing of this new data on hospital admissions from the HSCIC, as it highlights the scope of the problem posed by severe allergies, both on an individual and public level. Until now, figures on the level of burden on hospitals from severe allergies have been scarce and this new information highlights the need for further investment and improvements in allergy care."