Women and Allergy

An allergy is an abnormal reaction by the immune system to a normally harmless substance found in the environment.1 It is estimated that 30–40% of the global population is affected by allergies.2

The World Allergy Organization has indicated that complex allergies in women involving polysensitization, multiple organ involvement, and high morbidity are increasing, placing a higher burden on healthcare delivery services around the globe.3

Studies indicate there is a role for sex hormones in allergy and autoimmunity, leading to more females suffering from allergies after puberty than males. Women allergy sufferers often report more-severe symptoms and more admissions to the emergency department and hospital than men.4

  • Worldwide, 220–520 million people may suffer from a food allergy, and10–30% of the population is afflicted with allergic rhinitis.3
  • Food allergies affect more adult women than adult men.5
  • The prevalence of asthma and incidence of asthma exacerbations are consistently higher in women than men.6


Risk Factors

Risk Factors

  • Females are slightly more likely to have food allergies than males, with percentages of reported reactions at 4.1 and 3.8% respectively.7
  • Allergies are very common in pregnancy; about a quarter of all expectant mothers experience them. Not all are long-term allergy sufferers—many women with no known prior allergies experience their symptoms only during pregnancy.8
  • People inherit a tendency to be allergic, although not to any specific allergen. When one parent is allergic, his or her child has a 50% chance of having allergies. That risk jumps to 75% if both parents have allergies.9


Allergy Symptoms in Women
Common allergy symptoms in women resulting in a reaction to inhaled or skin allergens include9:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, runny nose


  • Rashes
  • Feeling tired or ill
  • Hives (a rash with raised patches)

Global Burden of Allergies
Allergies are a very common problem, affecting at least 2 out of every 10 Americans.9 A steady increase in the prevalence of allergic diseases globally has occurred, with about 30–40% of the world population now affected by one or more allergic conditions.

In many countries, attempts to tackle these problems on a national basis are widely variable and fragmented, resulting in decreased quality of life, increased morbidity and mortality, and considerable cost to patients with allergic diseases.10


Fast and accurate diagnosis of allergies is important to start appropriate treatment to alleviate symptoms. Appropriate education for patients and families is fundamental to the management of allergic disease.


Allergen-Specific IgE 3gAllergy™





Total IgE





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