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Bid to reduce food allergy deaths

Scientists in Portsmouth are trying to reduce the number of allergy-related deaths among teenagers in the UK.

Young people in the area who suffer with allergies are being called on to take part in the potentially life-saving survey by researchers from the University of Portsmouth.

About 35% of deaths from food-related allergies occur in those aged from 10-19, a previous study showed.

Heather Mackenzie, from the University's School of Health Sciences and Social Work said: "Although deaths from food allergy are rare, teenagers are over-represented in these figures.

"This indicates that they find food allergies the most difficult to deal with."

She added: "Some teenagers have relatively mild food hypersensitivity but it has a drastic affect on their quality of life, and vice versa.

"Teenagers are especially vulnerable because they are learning to take responsibility for their food allergy, which is challenging in itself, whilst also trying to be a normal teenager.

"Those with serious allergies carry around pre-loaded injection kits containing adrenaline and some see it as a nuisance but it's vital that they understand that it can save their lives and that thousands of others are in the same boat."

University of Portsmouth

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