What are the age predilections of anaphylaxis?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: S Shahzad Mustafa, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Anaphylaxis can occur at any age. In the Rochester study, the mean age was 29.3 years (range, 0.8 to 78.2 years). Age-specific rates were highest for ages 0-19 years (70 cases per 100,000 person-years). [11] The Memphis study had an age range of 1-79 years, with a mean of 37 years. [29] Simons and colleagues noted the highest frequency of epinephrine prescriptions for boys aged 12-17 months (5.3%). [37] The rate was 1.4% for those younger than 17 years, 0.9% for those aged 17-64 years, and 0.3% for those aged 65 years or older.

Severe food allergy is more common in children than in adults. However, the frequency in adults may be increasing, since severe food allergy often persists into adulthood. Anaphylaxis to radiocontrast media, insect stings, and anesthetics has been reported to be more common in adults than in children. Whether this is a function of exposure frequency or increased sensitivity is unclear.

Go to Pediatric Anaphylaxis and Pediatric Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis for more complete information on these topics.

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