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Background: Analysis of primary healthcare datasets offers the possibility to increase understanding of the epidemiology of acute uncommon conditions such as anaphylaxis, but these datasets remain under-exploited. Aim: To investigate recent trends in the recorded incidence, lifetime prevalence and prescribing of adrenaline for anaphylaxis in England. Methods: QRESEARCH is one of the world's largest national aggregated health databases containing the records of over nine million patients. We extracted data on all patients with a recorded diagnosis of anaphylaxis and calculated annual age-sex standardized incidence and lifetime period prevalence rates for each year from 2001-2005. We also analysed trends in adrenaline prescribing in those with a recorded diagnosis of anaphylaxis. National population figures were used to estimate numbers of people in England that have experienced anaphylaxis at some point in their lives. Results: The age-sex standardized incidence of anaphylaxis was 6.7 per 100,000 person-years in 2001 and increased by 19% to 7.9 in 2005. Lifetime age-sex standardized prevalence of a recorded diagnosis of anaphylaxis was 50.0 per 100,000 in 2001 and increased by 51% to 75.5 in 2005. Prescribing of adrenaline increased by 97% over this period. By the end of 2005 there were an estimated 37,800 people that had experienced anaphylaxis at some point in their lives. Conclusions: Recorded incidence, lifetime prevalence and prescribing of adrenaline for anaphylaxis all showed substantial increases in recent years. An estimated 1 in 1,333 of the English population have at some point in their lives experienced anaphylaxis.

Original publication

DOI

10.1258/jrsm.2008.070306

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

Publication Date

01/03/2008

Volume

101

Pages

139 - 143