Food allergy risk factors include:

  • Family history. You're at increased risk of food allergies if asthma, eczema, hives or allergies such as hay fever are common in your family.
  • A past food allergy. Children may outgrow a food allergy, but in some cases it returns later in life.
  • Other allergies. If you're already allergic to one food, you may be at increased risk of becoming allergic to another. Likewise, if you have other types of allergic reactions, such as hay fever or eczema, your risk of having a food allergy is greater.
  • Age. Food allergies are most common in children, especially toddlers and infants. As you grow older, your digestive system matures and your body is less likely to absorb food or food components that trigger allergies. Fortunately, children typically outgrow allergies to milk, soy, wheat and eggs. Severe allergies and allergies to nuts and shellfish are more likely to be lifelong.
  • Asthma. Asthma and food allergy commonly occur together. When they do, both food allergy and asthma symptoms are more likely to be severe.

Factors that may increase your risk of developing an anaphylactic reaction include:

  • Having a history of asthma
  • Being a teenager or younger
  • Waiting longer to use epinephrine to treat your food allergy symptoms
  • Not having hives or other skin symptoms
Feb. 12, 2014

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