Asthma is one of the most common causes of emergency department visits in Canada and is a leading cause of school and work absenteeism. It is generally estimated that in Canada 12% of children and 8% of adults have asthma, which is approximately 2.5 million Canadians. (Statistics Canada, National Population Health Survey 1998-1999. Ottawa 2000).
For more detailed statistics go to:
- Respiratory Disease in Canada (2001)
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Statistics Canada
Most experts believe that the prevalence of food allergy is rising along with a general rise in the incidence of allergic conditions. However it is difficult to substantiate this with reliable statistics.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that from 2 to 4% of children and 1 to 2% of adults have allergic reactions to food www.aaaai.org/media/resources/media_kit/allergy_statistics.stm
The most common food allergens, which have been formally identified by Health Canada, are peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, egg, wheat, soy and sesame.
Peanut allergy: It is believed that the incidence of peanut allergy exceeds 1% of the population and that for at least 80% this allergy will be life long.
In a recent study of the prevalence of peanut allergy in primary-school children in Montréal, Canada involving 4339 respondents the prevalence of peanut allergy was found to be 1.50%. This study was the first in North America to corroborate history with confirmatory testing and the largest worldwide to incorporate these techniques. (Kagan et al Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Volume 112, Issue 6, December 2003, Pages 1223-1228
The Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation estimates that 20-25% of Canadians have allergic rhinitis (also referred to as “hay fever”).