Seafood is the most common food allergy in the U.S.

Severe allergic reactions called anaphylaxis can be life threatening and can happen to anyone, even those who have never had a history of allergies. It is believed that one in 25 Americans is affected by food allergies.

A new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology states seafood is the most common food allergy in the nation -- more prevalent than peanut or tree nut allergies. Seafood allergies are estimated to affect more than six million Americans, the majority of which are adults. Women were almost twice as likely as men to be affected, with the highest rate reported by African Americans.

The study showed that patients went to the emergency room or consulted a doctor in about half of the reactions reported. For those that did see a doctor, less than eight percent were prescribed self-injectible epinephrine, which doctors say all patients at risk should carry with them at all times.

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