Far more people in the United States are allergic to sesame than previously thought, a new study finds.
The research, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, found that more than 1.5 million Americans had a sesame allergy roughly five times the previous estimate. That includes people who were diagnosed with the allergy by a physician, as well as those who weren't diagnosed, but met the researchers' criteria.
The new research looked at data from 78,851 children and adults in the U.S. and found that sesame allergies are just as likely in adults as they are in children. (The researchers extrapolated from their findings to estimate that the allergy affects more than 1.5 million people.)
Although sesame allergies are not as common as nut, egg or wheat allergies, the new research suggests that the allergic reactions to sesame can be just as dangerous.
Many of the people with a sesame allergy reported experiencing a severe allergic reaction, and one-third reported having had to use an epinephrine auto-injector. That's a sign the person was experiencing anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.
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