Epidemiology of anaphylaxis

Clin Exp Allergy. 2015 Jun;45(6):1027-39. doi: 10.1111/cea.12418.

Abstract

Knowledge about the epidemiology of anaphylaxis is based on data from various sources: clinical practice, large secondary clinical and administrative databases of primary care or hospitalized patients, and recent surveys with representative samples of the general population. As several similar results are often reported in several publications and populations, such findings are highly like to be robust. One such finding is that the incidence and prevalence of anaphylaxis are higher than previously thought. Publications from the last 5 years reveal an incidence of between 50 and 112 episodes per 100 000 person-years; estimated prevalence is 0.3-5.1% depending on the rigour of the definitions used. Figures are higher in children, especially those aged 0-4 years. Publications from various geographical areas based on clinical and administrative data on hospitalized patients suggest that the frequency of admissions due to anaphylaxis has increased (5-7-fold in the last 10-15 years). Other publications point to a geographic gradient in the incidence of anaphylaxis, with higher frequencies recorded in areas with few hours of sunlight. However, these trends could be the result of factors other than a real change in the incidence of anaphylaxis, such as changes in disease coding and in the care provided. Based on data from the records of voluntary declarations of death by physicians and from large national databases, death from anaphylaxis remains very infrequent and stands at 0.35-1.06 deaths per million people per year, with no increases observed in the last 10-15 years. Although anaphylaxis can be fatal, recurrence of anaphylaxis--especially that associated with atopic diseases and hymenoptera stings--affects 26.5-54% of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Anaphylaxis / epidemiology*
  • Anaphylaxis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors

Substances

  • Allergens