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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Half of all adults develop allergies, study shows

My wife was sniffling and sneezing the other morning, and she said, "I've never had an allergy in my life, and now I'm 30 and all of a sudden I think I'm having an allergic reaction to something. Is it possible to develop allergies as you age?"

My initial answer was not. From my previous research, I figured that if one was to develop an allergy it would be developed when we are small children, as I wrote about in my post, "The Hygeine Hypothesis."

Yet a new study reported at "The Medical News," showed that IgE levels increase as we age. Researchers at the National Center for Health and Statistics "observed a highly statistically significant increase of IgE, a type of antibody associated with allergic reactions."

By comparing this recent study with a similar one done in 1970, scientists were able to determine that IgE levels basically double by the time we reach the age of 55. In fact, the study showed that over half the population developed one or more allergy by the age of 55.

When someone first develops an allergy as an adult it usually goes unnoticed, and is thought to be a common cold. For this reason, doctors and allergists need to be trained to pick up on new allergies, do proper testing, and help people cope with their new allergy.

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