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Allergy Statistics

Allergy is widespread in the UK. Millions of adults suffer from at least one allergy, with numbers continuing to rise. Each year the number of allergy sufferers increases by 5%, half of all affected being children.

Below is an overview of allergy related statistics. Please contact the press office for more information:

  • In 2011/12: there were 18,471 hospital admissions for allergies in England. In 2015/16 this was 25,093. This is an increase of 6,622 cases or 36%. (Data obtained by NHS Digital, published by BBC Yorkshire)

  • In 2011/12 there were 3735 hospital admissions for anaphylactic shocks. This had risen to 4451 in 2015-16. This is an increase of 19% (716 cases). (Data obtained by NHS Digital, published by BBC Yorkshire)

  • 615% increase in hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in 20 years, 1992-2012 (Turner et al, JACI, 2015)
  • In the last decade, the cases of food allergies have doubled and the number of hospitalisations caused by severe allergic reactions has increased 7-fold (EAACI, 2015)
  • Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) of the Uk population consider themselves to have a food allergy or intolerance:
    • 6% have food allergy
    • 12% have a food intolerance (YouGov, 2015)
  • A quarter of UK households include at least one allergy or intolerance sufferer (YouGov, 2015)
    31% of parents have to send their children to school with a packed lunch due to their allergies/intolerances (YouGov, 2015)
  • 39% of parents buy specially designed ‘free from’ products – compared to 28% last year (YouGov, 2015)
  • About 1 in 3 of the population or 21 million have a disease where allergy may be involved. Up to 7 million have allergy severe enough to require specialist allergy care (National Allergy Strategy Group, Dec 2015)
  • There was a 615% increase in hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in the 20 years to 2012 (National Allergy Strategy Group, Dec 2015)
  • ‘Prescriptions for allergy symptoms cost nearly £1 billion a year – about 11% of the total community drugs budget. Prescribing information for the 12 months to February 2014 shows that the rate of prescribing emergency adrenaline products was 353 per 100,000 head of the population, one item per 283 people’ (National Allergy Strategy Group, Dec 2015) 
  • Over 20,000 admitted to hospital each year with allergy, 61.8 per cent (12,560) of admissions due to allergic reactions were emergencies, a 6.2 per cent increase (730) on the same period last year (11,830).(HSCIC, 2014)
  • By 2025, asthma will represent the most prevalent chronic childhood disease and result in one of the highest causes of health care costs (EAACI, 2014)
  • Over 150 million people have allergies in Europe, the most common chronic disease (EAACI, 2014)

  • Allergic diseases are affecting the lives of more than one billion people worldwide. With an epidemic rise during the last 60 years, their prevalence is expected to reach up to 4 billion in 2050s. (World Allergy Organisation, 2013)

  • 6–8 % of children have a proven food allergy (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2011)

  • Allergy is a chronic disease that is expected to affect more than 50% of all Europeans in 10 years' time (EAACI, 2011)

  • Up to 1 in 5 allergic people suffer a serious debilitating disease and are in fear of death from a possible asthma attack or anaphylactic shock (EAACI, 2011)
  • An estimated 21 million adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy (Mintel, 2010)

  • An estimated 10 million adults suffer from more than one allergy (Mintel, 2010)
  • Seasonal allergic rhinitis is associated with a detrimental effect on examination performance in UK teenagers. (Walker et al, J Allergy Clin Imm 2007)

  • UK hospital admissions for food allergies have increased by 500% since 1990 (Gupta, 2007)

  • The prevalence of diagnosed allergic rhinitis and eczema in children have both trebled over the last three decades (Gupta, 2007)
  • 20% of the population are affected by allergic rhinitis (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • The number of sufferers from rhinitis has tripled in the last 20 years (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • Asthma, Rhinitis and Eczema have trebled in the last 20 years (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • 10% of children and adults under the age of 45 have 2 or more allergies (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • 13 million people below the mid forties have 2 or more allergies (Allergy The Unmet Need, 2003)
  • 50% of children and young people have one or more allergy within the first 18 years of life (Journal of Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2009)
  • £900million per annum spent by Primary Care is due to allergy (Enquiry Into Provision of Allergy Services, 2004)
  • £68million per annum is the cost of hospital admissions due to allergy (Enquiry Into Provision of Allergy Services, 2004)
  • The UK is one of the top three countries in the world for the highest incident of allergy (The Allergenic Invasion, 1999)