Study reveals increasing rates of anaphylaxis-related hospital admissions and deaths in Brazil

Anaphylaxis, the most dangerous form of allergy, can result in fatality within minutes of exposure to an allergen. Data from high-income countries show that hospital admissions for anaphylaxis increased during the past 20 years, although numbers of fatalities did not increase. A report in Clinical and Experimental Allergy describes the first comprehensive evaluation of trends in anaphylaxis admissions and fatal anaphylaxis in a low or middle income country—in this case, Brazil.

Investigators found increasing rates of hospital admissions for anaphylaxis between 2011 and 2019 in Brazil, a middle-income country, which is similar to findings from high-income countries; however, they also found increasing fatal anaphylaxis rates.

Fatality rates were higher in Brazil than in most other national studies—more than 5% of people admitted to a hospital for anaphylaxis died, compared with approximately 1% in studies from high-income settings.

“These findings may influence officials in Brazil to facilitate wider availability of epinephrine devices such as EpiPens and other measures to protect people at risk of anaphylaxis,” said corresponding author Luciana Tanno, MD, Ph.D., of the University of São Paulo.