New food allergy guidelines aid physicians

Dec. 11, 2010 at 12:00 AM
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BALTIMORE, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Three out of 100 Americans have food allergies and the number has been steadily rising in the last 20 years but U.S. scientists say they don't know why.

Dr. Robert Wood, director of the division of allergy & immunology at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, says a collaborative government-led effort to guide and standardize diagnosis, treatment and management of food allergies has resulted in the release of an official set of recommendations for physicians.

The guidelines, published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, were developed by the National Institutes of Health and leading researchers and clinicians, professional and patient advocacy organizations and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, among others.

"Paradoxical as it may be, up until now we have lacked uniform guidelines based on hard scientific evidence about how to diagnose and treat these very common conditions that affect the lives of millions of people," Wood says in a statement.

The guidelines, also available at, are designed for use by specialists, primary care physicians and other healthcare staff consolidate the latest available data into straightforward and consistent protocols for diagnosis and treatment.

"Because the guidelines will give physicians a uniform and consistent pool of information on the latest and most effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, patients are more likely to get the most-up-to-date care regardless of where they seek care," Wood said.

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