Research Article: Critical view of anaphylaxis epidemiology: open questions and new perspectives

Date Published: April 4, 2018

Publisher: BioMed Central

Author(s): Luciana Kase Tanno, Ana Luiza Bierrenbach, F. Estelle R. Simons, Victoria Cardona, Bernard Yu-Hor Thong, Nicolas Molinari, Moises A. Calderon, Margitta Worm, Yoon-Seok Chang, Nikolaos G. Papadopoulos, Thomas Casale, Pascal Demoly.


In contrast to the majority of allergic or hypersensitivity conditions, worldwide anaphylaxis epidemiological data remain sparse with low accuracy, which hampers comparable morbidity statistics. Data can differ widely depending on a number of variables. In the current document we reviewed the forms on which anaphylaxis has been defined and classified; and how it can affect epidemiological data. With regards to the methods used to capture morbidity statistics, we observed the impact of the anaphylaxis coding utilizing the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases. As an outcome and depending on the anaphylaxis definition, we extracted the cumulative incidence, which may not reflect the real number of new cases. The new ICD-11 anaphylaxis subsection developments and critical view of morbidity statistics data are discussed in order to reach new perspectives on anaphylaxis epidemiology.

Partial Text

Anaphylaxis has been defined for clinical use by healthcare professionals as a serious, generalized, allergic or hypersensitivity reaction that can be life-threatening and even fatal [1–3]. In contrast to the majority of allergic or hypersensitivity conditions such as asthma or rhinitis, accurate worldwide anaphylaxis epidemiological data remain lacking for harmonization. Data can differ widely depending on a number of variables. For instance, European data have indicated incidence rates for all-cause anaphylaxis ranging from 1.5 to 7.9 per 100,000 person/year, with an estimate that 0.3% (95% CI 0.1–0.5) of the population will experience anaphylaxis at some point during their lifetime [4]. As well, it is estimated that 1 in every 3000 inpatients in US hospitals suffer from an anaphylactic reaction [5].

In this manuscript, we provide arguments for the need of reviewing the current definitions in use for anaphylaxis. The definitions are able to directly impact in the epidemiology of anaphylaxis as a disease. Incorporating refined strategies to achieve accuracy and comparable MMS can support public health changes to reach better patients’ care and prevention worldwide.




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