Latest figures reveal that hospital admissions for anaphylactic shock in adults aged 19 and over have increased 27% since last year and risen dramatically over the last seven years.
Hospital admissions for anaphylactic shock for adults increased from 3751 to 4756 from 2019 to 2020. The number of adult patients admitted to hospital because of allergies has more than doubled since 2013, reaching a record high of 27,172 in 2019/2020.
Hospital admissions for anaphylactic shock for adults has also increased from 3,092 to 4756 in the same seven-year period, an increase of 35%.
Figures for under 18s
Following a concerning increase in admissions for anaphylactic shock in 18s and under last year, this year’s figures have stabilised.
From 2019 to 2020 there were 12,562 hospital admissions for allergies in under 18s compared with 11,912 from 2018 to 2019.
Hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in under 18s decreased from 1,746 in 2018-2019 to 1,707 in 2019-2020.
See the full figures on the NHS Digital website here
Most at risk
As figures cover a one-year period from March to March, these recent figures are unlikely to have been affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Young people between 16-24 years old are frequently recognised as being most at risk of anaphylaxis as they become more independent from their parents and are more likely to take risks, such as experimenting with new foods, travelling alone or with friends and may be reluctant to carry two AAIs with them at all times.
Rise in allergies
There is no single cause for the rising prevalence of allergy that has taken place over the past few decades. There are numerous possible reasons for this and many are still under debate. Understanding the allergy epidemic is a work in progress, but here are some factors that have been considered influential:
- Eating habits
- Early exposure to allergens
- Modern medicines, e.g. antibiotics
- Vitamin D deficiency and other dietary factors
Chief Executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, Lynne Regent, said:
“It is too early to tell if the current pandemic has had any impact on allergy or anaphylactic shock hospital admission figures. It is worrying for us to hear that the number of admissions to hospital for anaphylaxis and allergies has risen in adults. As 16 to 24-year olds are the most at-risk group, we are working on several initiatives to help empower young people to feel more in control of their allergies. This includes welcoming our new Youth Ambassador Dan Kelly earlier this year. Our aim is to create a safe environment for all people with allergies by working with and educating those in schools, universities, the food industry, health care professionals and other key audiences.”
We have a number of resources available to help enable those at risk to manage their allergy successfully. These include;
- Free online e-learning courses at www.allergywise.org.uk for adults, schools, parents and carers, healthcare professionals and pharmacists.
- A number of Factsheets and Knowledgebase on a wealth of information about allergy and anaphylaxis which is evidence based and checked by clinical experts.
- Our Universities Campaign which includes a booklet to help support allergic students with information on managing their allergies throughout university.
- Information on Eating Out, Travelling, and Guidance on Managing Allergens in the Workplace
If you would like further information and support, please call our national helpline on 01252 542029 or contact [email protected], open between 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday.