A new study published in the March edition of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows that self-reported food allergy nearly doubled in black children over the past 23 years.

The journal, published by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, featured research by assistant professor of pediatrics Corinne Keet, M.D., MS, of The Johns Hopkins University.

The study does not indicate why there is an increase. “Although African Americans generally have higher levels of IgE, the antibody the immune system creates more of when one has an allergy, it is only recently that they have reported food allergy more frequently than white children,” said Dr. Keet in a release. “Whether the observed increase is due to better recognition of food allergy or is related to environmental changes remains an open question.”

Study shows general increase in food allergies

The research for the study analyzed 452,237 children from 1988 to 2011. Food allergies in African-American children raised at a rate of 2.1 percent per decade, at 1.2 percent for Hispanics, and 1 percent for whites.

It should also be noted that the study was entirely self-reported and did not quantify whether the allergies had been properly diagnosed by an allergist or medical professional. It also did not determine whether or not the allergy was instead an intolerance.

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