A Laundry List Of Allergies
Do you have an allergy? If so, a new study has found that it comes with an annual price tag of $500 million.
Food allergies happen when the immune system recognizes the food as foreign to the body. Studies have found that 90 percent of all food allergies are to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy or wheat.
Money, Money, Money
Researchers, using several databases, added up the annual cost of emergency room care, hospitalizations and visits to the physician's office for allergic reactions:
- Visits to the doctor's office - $118 million.
- Visits to the emergency department - $45 million
- Indirect costs of food allergies, such as missing work - $115 million to $203 million
Asthma Vs. Allergies
The study also looked at the comparison cost of food allergies versus other similar conditions.
Results found that an emergency visit for a food allergy cost $553, while previous studies have found that an emergency visit for asthma costs $345.
The study did not speculate as to why there was a significant difference in the price tag.
The study only focused on medical related costs, they did not take in to account the cost of maintaining and managing special diets, arranging for particular travel or school accommodations and other allergenic related expenses.
- Food allergies cost $500 million a year, says study (MSNBC)
- Theories Vary On Why Food Allergy Cases Are Increasing (DesPlaines)